Background Little is known about motor vehicle collision (MVC) risk in older drivers with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The purpose of this study is to examine associations between MVC involvement and AMD presence and severity.
Methods In a retrospective cohort study pooling the samples from four previous studies, we examined associations between MVC rate and older drivers with early, intermediate or advanced AMD as compared with those in normal eye health. MVC data were based on accident reports obtained from the state agency that compiles this information.
Results MVC rate was highest among those in normal eye health and progressively declined among those with early and intermediate disease, and then increased for those with advanced AMD. However, only for drivers with intermediate AMD was the MVC rate significantly different (lower) as compared with those in normal eye health, regardless of whether the rate was defined in terms of person-years (RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.89) or person-miles (RR 0.35, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.91) of driving.
Conclusions These results suggest that older drivers with intermediate AMD have a reduced risk of collision involvement. Further research should investigate whether self-regulatory driving practices by these drivers (avoiding challenging driving situations) underlies this reduced risk.