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Do vision related renewal policies inhibit older driver relicensure? Shipp, Melvin D

By: Shipp, Melvin DSeries: VTI konferensPublication details: Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, 2001; VTI konferens, Description: nr 15A, s. 607-13Subject(s): Sweden | Conference | South Africa | Driving licence | Old people | Medical examination | Vision | Impact study | Statistics | | USA | Accident rate | 84Bibl.nr: VTI P7000:15ALocation: Abstract: As a group, persons over sixty years of age have higher rates of vision impairment, and therefore may be at increased risk for vision-related crashes. In the U.S., some states require vision testing for driver license renewal, whereas others do not. Further, among those states requiring vision testing, the frequency and types of vision tests performed vary considerably. In light of this variability, it is possible that current U.S. vision screening policies may be ineffective in identifying at visually risk drivers. A 1998 study of vision testing policies and traffic safety determined that states with vision testing had significantly lower older driver traffic fatality rates than states without vision testing requirements. According to this study, if mandatory vision testing had been required in 8 of the 10 states not requiring them, 222 lives could have been saved. The results of this study were consistent with other regional and national studies of this type. Although the results of this study suggest that vision related relicensing policies fulfil their intended purpose of enhancing traffic safety, it is unclear whether there was a concomitant reduction in the number of elderly drivers in states with vision testing requirements. The research presented in this paper is an extension of the 1998 study. It investigates whether the proportions of older licensed drivers in states with vision testing policies were lower than in states without such policies.
Item type: Reports, conferences, monographs
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As a group, persons over sixty years of age have higher rates of vision impairment, and therefore may be at increased risk for vision-related crashes. In the U.S., some states require vision testing for driver license renewal, whereas others do not. Further, among those states requiring vision testing, the frequency and types of vision tests performed vary considerably. In light of this variability, it is possible that current U.S. vision screening policies may be ineffective in identifying at visually risk drivers. A 1998 study of vision testing policies and traffic safety determined that states with vision testing had significantly lower older driver traffic fatality rates than states without vision testing requirements. According to this study, if mandatory vision testing had been required in 8 of the 10 states not requiring them, 222 lives could have been saved. The results of this study were consistent with other regional and national studies of this type. Although the results of this study suggest that vision related relicensing policies fulfil their intended purpose of enhancing traffic safety, it is unclear whether there was a concomitant reduction in the number of elderly drivers in states with vision testing requirements. The research presented in this paper is an extension of the 1998 study. It investigates whether the proportions of older licensed drivers in states with vision testing policies were lower than in states without such policies.

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