June 2015 - What Factors Affect Road Test Results in Bioptic Drivers?



Article Abstract originally published on: medicalxpress.com

Bioptic telescopic devices attached to a pair of the glasses may permit driving with a special license by some people with decreased central vision but adequate peripheral vision. When they need to see more distant objects, drivers can tilt the head downward to obtain a telescopic view.

Forty-three states currently issue bioptic telescope licenses for appropriate candidates, after special training and testing. However, amid ongoing debate over these special licenses, there is little information on factors affecting driving performance or safety in bioptic drivers.

To address this issue, the researchers analyzed the results of Highway Patrol road tests in 74 Ohio drivers who received bioptic licenses, whether on their first test or on repeat testing. Participants were identified through the bioptic telescope driving program at Ohio State program, which trains about three-fourths of bioptic drivers statewide.

Previous driving experience—before telescopic lenses were needed—was the single strongest predictor of the road test results. "Forty-one percent of candidates without previous driving experience passed the Highway Patrol exam on the first attempt, compared to 81 percent of those with experience," Dr Dougherty and colleagues write.

Hours of bioptic training were also a significant factor—candidates who needed more training actually performed worse on the road test. Median training time was 33 hours for candidates who failed at least one portion of the road test, compared to 17 hours for those who passed on their first attempt.

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If you are interested in learning more about bioptic telescopic glasses, bioptic training or if your state allows driving with bioptic telescopes, contact your IALVS low vision Optometrist today.