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August 21, 2002

Cataract Surgery and Motor Vehicle Crashes—Proceed With Caution

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

JAMA. 2002;288(7):885-886. doi:10.1001/jama.288.7.885

Older persons are becoming an increasingly larger proportion of drivers than in the past.1 Although drivers older than 60 years have the lowest crash rates by age for licensed drivers,2 many impairments to driving are age related. Driving is a complex activity requiring a high level of motor and sensory integrity. Thus, deficits in mobility, reaction time, hearing, vision, and mentation are likely to influence driving ability, and these are, in general, concomitants of aging. It is likely that older drivers restrict the actual number of miles they drive and the conditions in which they drive, in part related to these relative disabilities. For example, older adults who reported arthritis and cardiovascular disease were more likely to cease night driving 5 years later.3

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