Objectives: This study examined the associations between vision, hearing, loss, and car accidents.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 3654 people aged 49 years and older in the Blue Mountains, Australia, was used. Each subject had a detailed eye examination and interview.
Results: Self-reported car accident rates in the past year among 2379 current drivers were 5.6% for those aged 49 to 79 years and 9.1% for those 80 years and older. A 2-line difference in visual acuity was associated with increased risk of accidents (adjusted prevalence ratio [PR] = 1.6), as was visual acuity worse than 6/18 in the right eye (PR = 2.0), overall moderate hearing loss (PR = 1.9), and hearing loss in the right ear (PR = 1.8).
Conclusions: Sensory loss in drivers may be an important risk factor for car accidents.