Vision and driving--a literature review and commentary

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 1997 Sep;17(5):371-91.


The visual requirements that currently have to be met those applying for and holding current UK driving licenses for private motor vehicles are discussed, together with the incidence of road accidents and the general scientific and social problems of setting visual standards for driving. Literature relating to the effectiveness of various visual tests in predicting the accident-proneness of individual drivers is reviewed. A striking feature of the data on the age-dependence of accidents and visual performance is that although visual performance by most tests steadily declines after early middle age, older drivers have less accidents than their younger counter-parts, whose visual performance is superior. It is concluded that, although correlations between poor vision as assessed by some tests and accident rates can be shown in large samples of drivers, as yet, no single test or combination of tests has been shown to be able to effectively screen out those at risk of accidents without also leading to the disqualification of a substantial number of potentially safe drivers. Thus no change in the present visual requirements is recommended at the present time.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Automobile Driving* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety
  • United Kingdom
  • Vision Tests / standards
  • Vision, Ocular*
  • Visual Acuity