[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
June 1969

Visual Factors in Automobile Driving, and Provisional Standards

Arch Ophthalmol. 1969;81(6):865-871. doi:10.1001/archopht.1969.00990010867020

THE MOST important route of sensory input for an automobile driver is the visual apparatus. Fortunately, vision lends itself to quantitative measurements particularly in the vital functions of central acuity and breadth of field. Visual attention, alertness, interpretation, and intelligent decision are also essential in the visual process, but do not lend themselves easily to quantitative measurement. Unfortunately, these functions are subject to wide ranges of variation even under such common conditions as fatigue, anger, or drug reaction.

In the last few years, the previously meager knowledge1 concerning the relationships of medical problems2 and ophthalmic disorders3 to driving has been undergoing distinct improvement. Waller4 in his "Guide for the Identification, Evaluation, and Regulation of Persons with Medical Handicaps to Driving" poses five questions to form the basis for programs to regulate drivers:

  1. What is the accident risk associated with a particular condition?

  2. What proportion

Mitchell, H.H.: Medical Problems in Physical Fitness as Related to Traffic Accidents, prepared for the Department of Transportation (RM-5636-DOT), Santa Monica, Calif, The Rand Corp., April 1968.
Keeney, A.H. (ed.): Proceedings of the 11th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Automotive Medicine , Springfield, Ill: Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 1969.
Keeney, A.H.:  Ophthalmic Pathology in Driver Limitation , Trans Amer Acad Ophthal Otolaryn 72:737-740 ( (Sept-Oct) ) 1968.
Waller, J.A.: Guide for the Identification, Evaluation, and Regulation of Persons With Medical Handicaps to Driving , Washington, DC, The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, 1967.
Burg, A.: The Relationship Between Vision Test Scores and Driving Record , Los Angeles, Calif, The Institute of Transportation and Traffic Engineering, University of California, June 1967 (report No. 67-24)
December 1968 (report No. 68-72).
 Medical Aspects of Driver Limitation, Committee on Medical Aspects of Automotive Safety , JAMA 187:376 ( (Feb 1) ) 1964.Article
Physicians Guide for Determining Driver Limitation , Chicago, American Medical Association, Committee on Medical Aspects of Automotive Safety, 1968.
Richards, O.W.: Visual Needs and Possibilities for Night Automobile Driving , Southbridge, Mass, American Optical Corporation Research Group, August 1967.
Faulkner, C.R., and Older, S.J.: Effects of Different Systems of Vehicle Lighting on a Driver's Ability to See Dark Objects , Crowthorne, England, Road Research Laboratory, 1967.
Watson, R.L.: Formula for Calculating Disability Glare Effect , Crowthorne, England, Road Research Laboratory, 1968.
Shirley, S.Y., and Gauthier, R.J.:  Recognition of Color Lights by Color Defective Individuals , Canad J Ophth 3:244-253 ( (July) ) 1968.
Connolly, P.L.: Human and Visual Factors Considerations for the Design of Automotive Periscopic Systems, Detroit, Society of Automotive Engineers (680404), 1968.
Marcus, K.H.: Periscopic Rear Vision in Automobiles, Detroit, Society of Automotive Engineers (680404), 1968.
Hyde, W.L.: Periscopes for Rear Vision, Detroit, Society of Automotive Engineers (680403), 1968.
Nordenson, J.W.:  Ophthalmic International Standards 1950 , Brit J Ophth 35:496-501 ( (Aug) ) 1951.Article