Over one million drivers screened for vision impairment to promote road safety
In order to promote road safety and prevent accidents, some vision care leaders came together to screen over one million drivers and transport workers for impairment in eyesight. A trio of companies including VisionSpring, India Vision Institute, and Sightsavers screened eyes of truck, rideshare, and autorickshaw drivers as well as provided them with on-the-spot access to eyeglasses.
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The companies undertook the joint initiative in order to make the country's roads safer, citing data from World Bank that although India has only 1% of the world's vehicles, 11% of the global deaths from road accidents occur in the country. However, one of the most significant ways to make the country's roads safer is to address drivers’ vision impairment.
After completing over one million screenings, all three companies have set a goal of completing another one million screenings of drivers and transportation workers by the end of 2025 in collaboration with a broad coalition of government and private partners. With the help of additional collaborators, these efforts can be accelerated and can help correct the vision of drivers across the country.
At a recently held conference on vision and road safety co-hosted by the three companies, it was highlighted that much attention is given to issues such as speeding, seatbelt use, and driving but vision care is also an essential component to solving the issue of road safety.
The vision project essentially aims to get eyeglasses immediately onto the faces of the people who need them. “Nearly 24% of unscreened drivers have explained it’s their lack of time that has prevented them from seeking eyecare previously. Another 25% said they were unaware they had vision problems altogether," explained India Vision Institute CEO Vinod Daniel.
VisionSpring's CEO cited a study of 275 truck drivers who acquired their first pair of glasses through the ‘See to be Safe’ program conducted by the companies, saying that one in four drivers did not meet the visual acuity requirements for their licensing. They could not see road signs and hazards just 20-30 meters away.