Up to 90% of the information needed for safe decisions on the road is visual.
SAFER MOBILITY ON THE ROAD
With up to 90% of the information needed for safe decisions on the road coming through the eyes, good vision is a critical factor for the safety of drivers, bikers, cyclists and pedestrians of all ages.
While eye health is essential for creating safer mobility and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the global road safety agenda suffers from a substantial lack of awareness of vision’s role, and access to sustainable eye care remains limited in large parts of the world.
Since the 2nd World Congress of Optometry in 2017, we have been engaged with the World Council of Optometry (WCO) and eye care partners to join advocacy efforts to promote the role of vision in road safety and foster adequate policies.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Africa has the
world’s highest rate of road fatalities. While the continent only has two percent of the world’s cars, it accounts for 20 percent of the global road deaths. Some 650 people die each day in road accidents throughout Africa. High rates of poor vision are contributing risk factors.
From the first African Road Safety Forum in 2018, we have been advocating for the inclusion of vision in road safety conversations, raising awareness of vision among governments and stakeholders.
We encourage public-private partnerships, involving industry, NGOs and optometry associations, to create safer mobility through innovative models such as Vision Journey in Kenya and awareness initiatives such as Let’s Not Meet by Accident in South Africa.
In India, it is estimated that 42% of drivers have uncorrected vision problems. Additionally, research suggests that drivers with unacceptable vision test results were found to have an 81% crash involvement rate – this is 30% higher than in drivers with good vision. Yet this situation could be prevented through effective policies and improved visual standards for licensed drivers.
Together with partners, we advocate for safer mobility in order to make good vision a priority – particularly for commercial drivers who represent a significant portion of traffic on the roads. We work alongside vision industry leaders, professional bodies, institutions and universities committed to foster safer mobility across India.
In Europe, research shows that 30% of drivers do not see well and up to 20% of traffic accidents are either directly or indirectly associated with road user’s vision problems. This situation is preventable through effective policies, improved, and upgraded visual standards for driving.
We advocate for safer mobility making good vision a priority. Together with partners, we advise the European Commission on upgrading the requirements for EU driving licenses that must include an adequate visual assessment and an awareness program in driving school.
We partner with vision industry leaders, professional bodies, institutions and universities committed to foster safer mobility across Europe.