Young Drivers with Common Visual Impairments Not More Likely to Crash

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Young drivers face a number of new challenges when they receive their license, but sometimes, it’s difficult to understand the magnitude of those challenges and how they may pose risks for both themselves and other drivers on the road. You might think that adolescents and young adults with visual impairments would be at greater risk on the road, but a new study from researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) found some surprising results.

Allison Curry, PhD, MPH, a senior scientist and Director of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, worked with other researchers at Emory University to study a large set of electronic health records. Together, the team examined licensure rates and police-reported crashes for adolescents and young adults with two of the most common types of vision impairment: unilateral vision impairment (UVI) and amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye.” These conditions cause reduced vision in one eye and decreased depth perception, both important in driving.

What they found was that while adolescents and young adults with these conditions were less likely to get licensed than those with no visual impairment at all, but those that did were not more likely to be involved in crashes. This new information may help train those young adults with these conditions who might be reluctant to purse a license.

You can read more about the study on the Research in Action Blog.

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