Diabetic Driving StudiesdPart 1: Brake Response Time in DiabeticDrivers With Lower Extremity Neuropathy

Although the effect of lower extremity pathology and surgical intervention on automobile driving function hasbeen a topic of contemporary interest, we are unaware of any analysis of the effect of lower extremity diabeticsensorimotor neuropathy on driving performance. The objective of the present case-control investigation wasto assess the mean brake response time in diabetic drivers with lower extremity neuropathy compared withthat of a control group and a brake response safety threshold. The driving performances of participants wereevaluated using a computerized driving simulator with specific measurement of the mean brake responsetime and frequency of abnormally delayed brake responses. We analyzed a control group of 25 active driverswith neither diabetes nor lower extremity neuropathy and an experimental group of 25 active drivers withtype 2 diabetes and lower extremity neuropathy. The experimental group demonstrated a 37.89% slower meanbrake response time (0.7570.180 versus 0.5490.076 second;p<.001), with abnormally delayed re-sponses occurring at a greater frequency (57.5% versus 3.5%;p<.001). Independent of a comparative statisticalanalysis, the observed mean brake response time in the experimental group was slower than the reportedsafety brake response threshold of 0.70 second. The results of the present investigation provide original datawith respect to abnormally delayed brake responses in diabetic patients with lower extremity neuropathy andmight raise the potential for impaired driving function in this population...

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