[Night driving capacity of ophthalmologically healthy persons of various ages]

Ophthalmologe. 1998 Aug;95(8):555-8. doi: 10.1007/s003470050315.
[Article in German]


In 1970 Aulhorn and Harms made fundamental recommendations for the night driving ability of motorists as well as for the corresponding examination methods. Reduced night driving ability of persons over the age of 60, as well the established limits for twilight vision and glare sensitivity, and their relevance to night-time collisions has been re-examined.

Patients and methods: A total of 117 normal volunteers between 10 and 79 years of age underwent ophthalmological examinations including measurement of contrast acuity and glare sensitivity by means of the Mesotest II (Oculus, Germany).

Results: Contrast acuity and glare sensitivity deteriorate in an age-dependent fashion. Thus, night driving ability decreased with increasing age. The majority part of persons over the age of 60 were not able to fulfill the actual criteria for night driving ability according to the recommendations of the German Ophthalmological Society (DOG).

Conclusions: In the present population, nearly 40% of persons over the age of 60 have reduced night driving ability. Since Lachenmayr showed in the BAST study the correlation of reduced night driving ability and car accidents, this emphasizes the importance of ophthalmological check-ups for motorists at this age.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Child
  • Dark Adaptation / physiology*
  • Female
  • Glare
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Visual Acuity / physiology