The Effect of Simulated Cataracts on Drivers' Hazard Perception Ability

Marrington, Shelby A., Horswill, Mark S. and Wood, Joanne M. (2008) The Effect of Simulated Cataracts on Drivers' Hazard Perception Ability. Optometry And Vision Science, 85 12: 1121-1127. doi:10.1097/OPX.0b013e31818e8d00

Author Marrington, Shelby A.
Horswill, Mark S.
Wood, Joanne M.
Title The Effect of Simulated Cataracts on Drivers' Hazard Perception Ability
Journal name Optometry And Vision Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1040-5488
Publication date 2008-12-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1097/OPX.0b013e31818e8d00
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 85
Issue 12
Start page 1121
End page 1127
Total pages 7
Editor Mark A. Bullimore
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Language eng
Subject C1
170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
880109 Road Safety
Abstract Purpose. We investigated the extent to which simulated cataracts slow a driver's ability to anticipate potential traffic hazards, a skill that has been found to correlate with crash risk. in previous studies, we found a significant correlation between contrast sensitivity and hazard perception in a sample of older drivers. The present study allowed us to determine the causal direction of this relationship. This is important as it provides a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the higher crash risk of drivers with cataracts. Methods. One hundred eighty-six drivers with normal vision completed a validated video-based hazard perception driving test, designed to measure hazard anticipation response times in dynamic scenes. They also completed a change detection task based on traffic hazards, which was designed to measure object detection times in static scenes. Participants undertook the tasks wearing either mild or moderate cataract simulation goggles, or wearing goggle frames without lenses. Results. Participants wearing moderate simulated cataract goggles were slower than the control group in both the hazard perception test, t(98.50) = -3.71, p < 0.001, and the hazard change detection task, t(124) = -13.86, p < 0.001. participants with the mild Simulated cataract goggles were slower than the control group in the hazard change detection task, t(114) = -4.04, p < 0.001, but not the hazard perception test, t(114) = -1.33, p = 0.19. Conclusions. Moderate levels of simulated cataract slowed drivers' ability to detect and anticipate traffic hazards enough to warrant road safety concerns, despite the fact that the vision of participants wearing the cataract goggles still complied with the minimum legal standard required for driving.
Keyword cataracts
hazard perception
change detection
contrast sensitivity
static visual acuity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 22 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Apr 2009, 02:37:30 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology