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Study links poor vision to traffic collisions

Low vision has been linked to reduced vehicle safety in low and middle-income countries

man driving

Research led by Queen’s University Belfast has highlighted a link between poor vision and traffic collisions.

The study, which was published in The Lancet Global Health, involved a systematic review exploring the connection between poor vision and vehicle collisions in low and middle-income countries.

Nathan Congdon, of Queen’s University Belfast, highlighted that prior research has focused on wealthy countries, which generally performed well at reducing the number of drivers with poor vision on the roads.

“Once we focused solely on low and middle-income countries, a very different picture came into focus. There are many drivers with poor vision on the roads in these settings, and it seems apparent that they explain an important part of the high number of road traffic accidents occurring there,” he explained.

Congdon emphasised that the findings support the need to address the link between poor vision and traffic safety, reducing the high rate of road mortality in low and middle-income countries.

The study revealed a 46% greater risk of having a road accident among drivers with central acuity visual impairment compared to drivers with healthy vision.

Drivers with a colour vision or visual field defect had a 36% greater risk of being involved in a traffic accident compared to drivers without vision problems.