Non-visual medical risks of commercial drivers who came for eye screening
Background: Beside visual fitness, non-visual risks can impact on a driver’s ability to drive safely.
Objectives: To describe the non-visual risks of commercial vehicle divers in Abakaliki.
Methodology: This was a cross sectional, descriptive study. Relevant data collected included bio- data, vital signs and lifestyle history of participants. Data was analysed using SPSS software package Version 22, and reported in simple tables showing frequencies, percentages and proportions. Relationship between the socio-demographic variables, vital signs and history of road traffic accident (RTA) were tested using the Chi Square statistic. Significance was set at p < 0.05.
Results: All 103 participants were males aged 24 to 75 years, with a mean of 43.2 ± 12.3. Majority (61.2%) were ≥40 years. High proportions: 37.5% and 9.7% were found to be hypertensive and diabetic respectively; 4 (3.9%) were epileptics; 50.5% and 25.2% use alcohol and tobacco respectively. Almost half (46.6%) self-reported having had RTA. The relationship between self-reported history of RTA and history of epilepsy was statistically significant (P <0.05).
Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of non-visual medical risks to driving safety amongst this population. It is recommended that beside the pre-licensing visual acuity, general medical check be incorporated as part of requirements for issuance and renewal of driving licence for drivers in Nigeria. Those with epilepsy should be identified and never licensed to drive.