Mobility scooter driving ability in visually impaired individuals

Cordes, C., Heutink, J., Brookhuis, K., Brouwer, W. & Melis, B., 2018, In : Disability and Rehabilitation. 40, 12, p. 1372-1378 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

To investigate how well visually impaired individuals can learn to use mobility scooters and which parts of the driving task deserve special attention.

A mobility scooter driving skill test was developed to compare driving skills (e.g. reverse driving, turning) between 48 visually impaired (very low visual acuity = 14, low visual acuity = 10, peripheral field defects = 11, multiple visual impairments = 13) and 37 normal-sighted controls without any prior experience with mobility scooters. Performance on this test was rated on a three-point scale. Furthermore, the number of extra repetitions on the different elements were noted.

Results showed that visually impaired participants were able to gain sufficient driving skills to be able to use mobility scooters. Participants with visual field defects combined with low visual acuity showed most problems learning different skills and needed more training. Reverse driving and stopping seemed to be most difficult.

The present findings suggest that visually impaired individuals are able to learn to drive mobility scooters. Mobility scooter allocators should be aware that these individuals might need more training on certain elements of the driving task. Implications for rehabilitation Visual impairments do not necessarily lead to an inability to acquire mobility scooter driving skills. Individuals with peripheral field defects (especially in combination with reduced visual acuity) need more driving ability training compared to normal-sighted people - especially to accomplish reversing. Individual assessment of visually impaired people is recommended, since participants in this study showed a wide variation in ability to learn driving a mobility scooter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1372-1378
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number12
Early online date21-Mar-2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Low vision, driving ability, mobility, motorized scooter, quality of life, rehabilitation, OLDER-ADULTS, ANXIETY, PARTICIPATION, PERFORMANCE, SYMPTOMS, SUPPORT

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