Vision screening tests for elderly drivers may not necessarily result in fewer motor vehicle crashes and related fatalities, according to a review published in the January 21 issue of The Cochrane Library.1 Due to the development of vision-impairing conditions with age, the authors hypothesized that elderly drivers may be involved in more car accidents than younger drivers.
But, after analyzing more than 4,500 published and non-published studies, the authors could not determine if visual screening examinations and license restrictions for elderly drivers would significantly reduce crashes and fatalities.
By comparison, the number of fatal crashes involving elderly drivers in
About 93% of individuals who sought license renewal passed the vision test, which indicates that a very modest number of elderly drivers were actually removed from the road, says author Gerald McGwin, Jr., Ph.D. Additionally, the law may have forced other elderly drivers to recognize their level of visual impairment and not seek license renewal. Dr. McGwin concluded that future age-related vision screening laws should target high-risk drivers, while still allowing low-risk drivers to renew their licenses.
1. Subzwari S, Desapriya E, Babul-Wellar S, et al. Vision screening of older drivers for preventing road traffic injuries and fatalities. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009 Jan 21;(1): CD006252.
2. McGwin G Jr, Sarrels SA,