Driving performance of glaucoma patients correlates with peripheral visual field loss

J Glaucoma. 2005 Apr;14(2):145-50. doi: 10.1097/01.ijg.0000151686.89162.28.


Purpose: To identify clinical vision measures that are associated with the driving performance of glaucoma patients who have visual field loss and visual acuity better than 20/100 and to compare the driving performance of glaucoma patients with the driving performance of a group of age- and sex-equivalent individuals without eye disease.

Patients: Forty patients with glaucoma and 17 normally sighted control subjects participated in this study.

Methods: Clinical vision data, consisting of visual acuity, letter contrast sensitivity, and visual fields, were collected. Driving performance was assessed by (1) an interactive driving simulator that measured 7 indices of performance (including number of accidents) and (2) the self-reported accident involvement for the past 5 years.

Main outcome measures: Driving simulator performance and real-world, self-reported accident involvement.

Results: The number of accidents as measured on the driving simulator in the glaucoma group was significantly correlated with three Goldmann visual field measures: combined horizontal extent (rho = -0.47, P = 0.01), total horizontal extent (rho = -0.49, P = 0.007), and total peripheral extent (rho = -0.55, P = 0.002). There were no statistically significant correlations between the driving performance of the glaucoma group and the visual acuity or contrast sensitivity measures. When compared with the control group, a significantly greater proportion of the glaucoma group reported having at least one real-world accident within the past 5 years (Fisher exact test, P = 0.005).

Conclusions: Visual field reduced to less than 100 degrees of horizontal extent may place patients with peripheral field loss at greater accident risk. A higher incidence of real-world and simulator accidents was found for the group with glaucoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk-Taking
  • Time Factors
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Fields*