Authors
Lee, Samantha Sze-Yee; Black, Alex A.; Lacherez, Philippe; Wood, Joanne M.

Eye Movements and Road Hazard Detection: Effects of Blur and Distractors

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Abstract/Introduction

Purpose 

To examine the effects of optical blur, auditory distractors, and age on eye movement patterns while performing a driving hazard perception test (HPT).

Methods 

Twenty young (mean age 27.1 ± 4.6 years) and 20 older (73.3 ± 5.7 years) drivers with normal vision completed a HPT in a repeated-measures counterbalanced design while their eye movements were recorded. Testing was performed under two visual (best-corrected vision and with +2.00DS blur) and two distractor (with and without auditory distraction) conditions. Participants were required to respond to road hazards appearing in the HPT videos of real-world driving scenes and their hazard response times were recorded.


Conclusion/Results

Results 

Blur and distractors each significantly delayed hazard response time by 0.42 and 0.76 s, respectively (p < 0.05). A significant interaction between age and distractors indicated that older drivers were more affected by distractors than young drivers (response with distractors delayed by 0.96 and 0.60 s, respectively). There were no other two- or three-way interaction effects on response time. With blur, for example, both groups fixated significantly longer on hazards before responding compared to best-corrected vision. In the presence of distractors, both groups exhibited delayed first fixation on the hazards and spent less time fixating on the hazards. There were also significant differences in eye movement characteristics between groups, where older drivers exhibited smaller saccades, delayed first fixation on hazards, and shorter fixation duration on hazards compared to the young drivers.

Conclusions 

Collectively, the findings of delayed hazard response times and alterations in eye movement patterns with blur and distractors provide further evidence that visual impairment and distractors are independently detrimental to driving safety given that delayed hazard response times are linked to increased crash risk.


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Testimonials


My eight year old daughter was terrified to go to the eye doctor for fear of her eyes being dilated. The doctor was SO KID friendly! He immediately made her comfortable by engaging her in conversation. It was a geat experience.


Joya B.

Dr. Garbus spent an amazing amount of time to solve my very complicated visual problems. Over the years he has continually achieved results beyond what others felt possible. He is always up to date on the latest science. He is great!


Dolores K.

Family Vision Care Valencia makes it so easy. Staff is knows what they are doing and Dr. Garbus is thorough and kept me well informed during the exam.


Kristy B.

I have been coming to Family Vision Center for almost 20 years. Dr. Garbus has been able to help my vision when other doctors could not. Now my kids see him as well. I highly recommend this office!


Autumn C.

The Doctor is very good. I felt on this visit he seemed rushed. I had questions to ask him but he was already with another patient. I still do not know if my eyes are the same , worse, or better.


Howard B.

All the staff is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and has been for all the years I have been going there.


Mary Ann H.
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