Visual acuity of drivers
thesisposted on 2023-08-30, 14:05 authored by Maria F. Katsou
PURPOSE: In May 2012 UK visual standards for driving changed, in order to comply with European laws. Drivers need to have both a visual acuity of 6/12 AND be able to read a number plate at 20 metres. Previously the number plate test was the only visual acuity test. METHODS: Four different distance visual acuity charts were used (Snellen, logMAR letter-similar to ETDRS, logMAR Landolt ring, distance reading acuity- similar to MNRead chart) and were presented at 6m. 120 drivers were tested binocularly without refractive correction. Participants were taken outside to perform the number plate test at 20m. A second study was conducted, with 38 participants whose vision was impaired to approximately 6/12 using simulation spectacles. RESULTS: Differences between the visual acuities as measured by the charts were statistically but not clinically significant. For all charts there is an overlap zone within which participants may pass only one of the two tests, outside this range, participants pass or fail both tests. The 6/12 cut-off provides reasonable sensitivity and specificity for Snellen and logMAR letter charts. A poorer acuity cut-off was needed with the Landolt chart to maximize the relationship with the number plate test. CONCLUSIONS: The 6/12 visual cut-off and the number plate test will not always pass or fail the same drivers. Snellen and logMAR letter charts are recommended to be used to measure the visual acuity of drivers, but not Landolt rings. Fifteen percent of the sample could read a number plate at 20m, but was not able to achieve either 6/12 or +0.30 logMAR. The overlap zone is a helpful tool to identify those people who need advice from Eye Care Practitioners.
InstitutionAnglia Ruskin University
- Accepted version