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Vision Impact Institute Urges Legislators to Prioritize Good Vision to Improve Road Safety

Good vision is missing from road safety discussion

Dallas, Texas – February 4, 2019 – The Vision Impact Institute is urging Indian lawmakers and advocates to continue their commitment to creating safer roads by prioritizing good vision on the road during this Road Safety Week and beyond.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 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 increased cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and others on the roads, the problem will not improve.

“We know that about 90 percent of the information an individual takes in while driving comes from visual inputs. It is imperative that we all receive the most accurate information through our eyes,” says Kristan Gross, Global Executive Director, Vision Impact Institute. “We urge legislators to prioritize the requirement of an eye exam as part of the drivers licensing process, especially for commercial drivers.”

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 had poor distance vision, while half of the drivers surveyed had poor near vision. And another recent study shows the link between drivers in India with unacceptable vision and crash involvement. These drivers were found to have an 81 percent road crash involvement rate - 30 percent higher than drivers with good vision.

“In the discussion on road safety, the topic often centers, as it should, on reducing distractions while driving – fixing potholes, discouraging phone use, and eliminating alcohol. Poor vision on the road is also a distraction, as drivers and pedestrians must make adjustments to be able to see clearly,” says Gross. “Poor vision has a place in this same conversation and in wider discussions about road safety.”