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Statement: Good Vision Key to Saving Lives on the Road

Vision Impact Institute urges advocates to prioritize good vision to create safer roads to mark National Road Safety Week.

Dallas, Texas – April 16, 2018 – As India joins together in support of National Road Safety Week (23 – 30 April), the Vision Impact Institute urges advocates to come together to prioritize healthy vision on the road.

According to the World Health Organization more people are killed in India due to road accidents than anywhere else in the world. That’s a human cost of 231,000 people per year and an economic cost of three percent of GDP. With more cars being added to the roads each year, this problem is only predicted to get worse.

Many of these deaths can be avoided by recognizing the role that good vision plays in a person’s ability to drive safely and by prioritizing the requirement of eye exams as part of a standard driving test, especially for commercial drivers.

“We know that while driving, 90 percent of the information a driver takes in comes from visual inputs about the road itself, other vehicles, pedestrians, signs, and the passing scenery,” says Kristan Gross, Global Executive Director at the Vision Impact Institute. “Good vision is not only a safety issue for drivers but impacts all on the road, including our children.”

According to preliminary results from a study conducted in 2017, in Delhi by the Central Road Research Institute, at least three in every 10 drivers were found to have impaired distance vision, while half of the drivers surveyed had poor near vision. The Delhi study included testing of 627 private car, taxi, truck and bus drivers. The complete study will be final in fall 2018, and will include assessments of 625 random subjects in each of three other metropolitan cities: Pune, Bangalore and Chennai.

And another recent study shows the link between drivers in India with unacceptable vision and road crash involvement. These drivers were found to have an 81 percent road crash involvement rate, that’s 30 percent higher than drivers with good vision.

“Behind these numbers are people affected by poor vision and its consequences on the road,” says Gross. “We applaud the work already underway as we work closely with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to create awareness and educate commercial drivers across the country on the importance of getting their eyes examined. Eye exams are a commitment to preventing road traffic injuries and deaths across the country. We remain committed to doing our part.”