Volume : 3
Issue : 3
Online ISSN : 2395-1451
Print ISSN : 2395-1443
Article First Page : 296
Article End Page : 299
The importance of good visual acuity for safe driving cannot be over emphasized. Most of the road traffic accidents are mainly due to poor or low visual acuity, stress and psychological factors affecting the drivers. An attempt was made to ascertain the visual status of the truck drivers for visual disorders by screening them in a truck parking campus near Sriperumbudur, located in NH 45 (Chennai-Bangalore highway) frequented by National Permit carriers from all states in India, as it is a highly industrialised area with many manufacturing and assembling units, ware houses and many other electronics and mechanical industrial units located in and around this area.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of visual function impairment among truck drivers frequenting the national highways. The data from this study will provide necessary information on visual functions among truck drivers, help to make appropriate policy towards driver’s screening, obtaining licence and regulations and the importance of periodic vision check up.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done on drivers frequenting one of the truck parking areas located in the busy NH 45 (Chennai – Bangaluru highway). Drivers were examined for visual acuity, colour vision, and fields by confrontation method. Those requiring further evaluation were examined in detail in the base hospital.
Results: Totally 148 drivers were examined, out of which 80(54.05%) were found fit for driving. The remaining 68(45.95%) had visual impairment of some sort. Refractive error was the most common cause of visual impairment present in 46(31.08%) drivers followed by cataract in 14(9.45%), retinopathies due to Hypertension and Diabetes was seen in 10(6.75%), Glaucoma in 7(4.7%), ARMD in 4(2.7%), peripheral corneal opacities in 6(4.05%), and Squint in 3(2.02%). Colour blindness was seen in 3(2.02%) drivers.
Conclusion: Prevalence of visual impairment among drivers was about 45.95% which is quiet a large magnitude to be accepted. Driver fault forms a significant share of the causes of road accident in India. With driving tests in India not factoring in visual acuity, poor eyesight could be a major culprit in road accidents. In India the criteria for vision requirement for safe driving is to be revised and regular monitoring and better visual examination parameters should be given more importance for issue and renewal of driving licenses to prevent road accidents.
Keywords: Cataract, Refractive errors, Road safety, Vision, Visual impairment, Truck drivers