Bioptic Telescopes Meet the Needs of Drivers With Moderate Visual Acuity Loss

Bioptic telescopes are used as additions to eyeglasses to permit visually impaired people with moderately reduced vision to drive. The telescope provides the visually impaired driver with a magnified view of objects, such as the text or details of traffic signs; most of the time, the driver views the road through normal eyeglasses, looking intermittently through the telescope (achieved by a slight downward tilt of the head) to read road signs, determine the status of traffic lights, or scan ahead for road hazards. This article reports on a study undertaken to determine the extent to which bioptic telescopes are used by and meet the driving needs of people with moderately reduced visual acuity. The majority (74%) of the 58 drivers using the bioptic telescope rated it as very helpful, and almost all (90%) would continue to use it for driving, even if it were not required for driving licensure. However, only 62% reported always wearing the bioptic when driving. Subjects had relatively unrestricted driving habits. With the exception of driving in rain, in bright sunlight, and at night, there was little difficulty with driving in a variety of situations, and levels of driving avoidance due to vision impairment were less than 10%. The authors conclude that the bioptic telescope met the (self-reported) driving needs of the majority of visually impaired drivers in this study and was found to be a useful aid for tasks requiring resolution of detail.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Bowers, Alex R
    • Apfelbaum, Doris H
    • Peli, Eli
  • Publication Date: 2005-1


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01010580
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 5 2005 6:41AM