Visual Function as a Risk Factor for Road Traffic Accidents among Commercial Intercity Vehicle Drivers in Jos, Nigeria

  • PD Wade
  • OP Odugbo
  • LD Velle
  • F Kyari
Keywords: Driving, road traffic accidents, visual function

Abstract

Background: To assess the effect of visual function on the occurrence of road traffic accidents (RTA) amongst Commercial Intercity Vehicle Drivers in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional survey of commercial intercity vehicle drivers at the Bauchi Road Motor Park, Jos, was undertaken in November 2006. The study instrument was a semi-structured questionnaire. Information obtained included demographic data, operational route, history of involvement in road traffic accident (RTA), cause of RTA and ocular history. Each participant had a detailed ocular examination. Data from 221 subjects were collected and entered into Epi-info version 6.04d, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland. Data entry validation was done through duplicate entry. Frequency tables were then generated. Results: A total of 221 of 268 drivers were assessed (response rate was 82.5%). All the drivers were males. Their age ranged from 20-90 years (mean: 44.2, SD 9.2). Up to 58(26.2%) drivers reported involvement in RTA. The main causes of RTAs were burst tyre 10(17.2%), reckless driving 9(15.5%), sleep 8(13.8%) and pedestrians 8(13.8%). Four persons (6.9%) complained of poor visibility at night. The age group 20-29 years and >50 years had the highest proportion of drivers involved in RTA as 33.3% (3/9) and 29.2% (19/58) of drivers in this age group reported involvement in RTA respectively. Three (5.2%) drivers with history of involvement in RTA had a VA of <6/12. Conclusion: Young and elderly drivers are more at risk of involvement in RTAs. Visual impairment was an important risk factor especially among the elderly drivers. Periodic ocular examination will contribute significantly to the reduction of RTAs.

Key Words Driving, road traffic accidents, visual function

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