Original Research

Visual health status and its relationship with road traffic accidents amongst Nigerian vehicle drivers: A publication of the Nigerian Optometric Association

Bernadine N. Ekpenyong, Damian Echendu, Ekanem Ekanem
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 79, No 1 | a577 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v79i1.577 | © 2020 Bernadine N. Ekpenyong, Damian Echendu, Ekanem Ekanem | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 May 2020 | Published: 07 December 2020

About the author(s)

Bernadine N. Ekpenyong, Department of Public Health, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
Damian Echendu, State House Medical Centre, Aso Rock Abuja, Nigeria
Ekanem Ekanem, Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria; and, The Nigerian Optometric Association, Abuja, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: A driver’s vision is an important human factor necessary for safe driving.

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the functional vision status of drivers in Nigeria and to establish its relationship with road traffic accidents (RTAs).

Setting: Designated road lay-bys and motor parks in Nigeria.

Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used for this study, with a sample size of 3521 vehicle drivers. Twenty-seven states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja participated in the study. Participating drivers were interviewed, and clinical eye examinations were conducted by a team of optometrists at designated Federal Road Safety Commission road checkpoints and motor parks in the country.

Results: The mean age of the drivers was 46.3 ± 10.9 years. Of the 3500 participants, 3080 (88%) were men and 2780 (79.4%) had a driving licence. The percentage of drivers who underwent an eye test before being issued a licence was generally low (median, 43.5%). A history of RTA was reported by 8.3% of the drivers. The prevalence of visual impairment was observed amongst 7.5% of drivers (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.6% – 8.5%), whilst the prevalence amongst private drivers was 6.1% (95% CI, 4.6% – 7.9%). Drivers with visual impairment were nearly two times (adjusted odds ratio, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.06–2.77) more likely to be involved in RTA compared to those without impairment.

Conclusion: This survey has demonstrated the relationship between poor vision and the occurrence of RTA. All stakeholders must work together to ensure the safety of lives and property on our roads.


Keywords

road traffic accident; vehicle drivers; visual health status; visual impairment; prevalence; driving license

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