Transportation & Vehicle Safety Policy

McGehee Researching Modern Alternatives to Bioptic Telescopes

driver wearing bioptic telescope

Daniel McGehee, director of the Transportation and Vehicle Safety Policy Research Program, is involved in a study that looks at less distracting alternatives to bioptic telescopes, which help visually impaired drivers.

Bioptic telescopes were first used for driving in 1970. The device, however, requires a drover to switch visual attention, which can result in inattention blindness and distracted driving. With advanced wayfinding technologies such as GPS and driver assistance systems, less distracting alternatives to the bioptic telescopes should be researched. The study also aims to help establish a national vision standard for driving that allows for individual review, and policies that consider the benefits of operating a car with advanced safety features. To read a research brief on the topic, click here.

The first author on the study is Mark E. Wilkinson, director of the Vision Rehabilitation Service, faculty member of Iowa Institute for Vision Research, and clinical professor of ophthalmology in the Carver College of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. McGehee is the director of the National Advanced Driving Simulator, an associate professor in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Associate professor in Emergency Medicine, and an associate professor in Public Health.