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.
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.