GPS Usage in a Population of Low-Vision Drivers

Semin Ophthalmol. 2017;32(4):438-442. doi: 10.3109/08820538.2015.1118137. Epub 2016 Apr 19.


Purpose: We surveyed bioptic and non-bioptic low-vision drivers in Illinois, USA, to determine their usage of global positioning system (GPS) devices.

Methods: Low-vision patients completed an IRB-approved phone survey regarding driving demographics and usage of GPS while driving. Participants were required to be active drivers with an Illinois driver's license, and met one of the following criteria: best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) less than or equal to 20/40, central or significant peripheral visual field defects, or a combination of both.

Results: Of 27 low-vision drivers, 10 (37%) used GPS while driving. The average age for GPS users was 54.3 and for non-users was 77.6. All 10 drivers who used GPS while driving reported increased comfort or safety level.

Conclusions: Since non-GPS users were significantly older than GPS users, it is likely that older participants would benefit from GPS technology training from their low-vision eye care professionals.

Keywords: Adaptive technology; GPS; bioptic driver; low-vision rehabilitation; smartphone.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Automobile Driving / standards*
  • Female
  • Geographic Information Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Vision, Low / physiopathology
  • Vision, Low / rehabilitation*
  • Visual Acuity*