Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Drivers with Parkinson’s Disease at Higher Risk of Crashes in Low Visibility

Drivers with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease may be at higher risk of crashes on foggy days and other times of low visibility. The research, involving a driving simulation test, is published in the October 6, 2009, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

In addition to affecting movement, Parkinson’s disease affects visual skills, such as the ability to see contrast, and the speed of processing what is seen.

The study involved a driving simulation test taken by 67 people with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease and 51 healthy people about the same age. First they drove in good conditions, with clear skies. Then they drove in a foggy, low visibility situation, leading up to an intersection where another vehicle posed a crash risk.

More people with Parkinson’s disease were unable to avoid the crash—76 percent versus 37 percent. Their reaction time was also longer—2.7 seconds compared to 2.1 seconds. For those who crashed, those with Parkinson’s were driving at an average speed of 49 mph at the time of the crash, compared to 39 mph for those who did not have Parkinson’s.

“Our results suggest that a large proportion of drivers with Parkinson’s disease may be at risk for unsafe driving in low visibility situations such as fog or twilight,” said study author Ergun Uc, MD, of the University of Iowa in Iowa City and Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Iowa City, who is a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

Those with Parkinson’s also had more instances where the car’s wheels crossed over the center line or the shoulder line than people who did not have Parkinson’s, and their performance worsened with the change from good to poor driving conditions.

Among those with Parkinson’s disease, those who performed the worst on the driving test were those who had the lowest scores on tests of visual processing speed, motion perception, sensitivity to visual contrast and speed of movement.

The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute on Aging.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 21,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), dementia, West Nile virus, and ataxia. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit or

Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>