Visual impairment among commercial intercity vehicle drivers in Dutse, Jigawa State, Nigeria

Submitted: June 9, 2020
Accepted: June 19, 2020
Published: September 4, 2020
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Good vision is an essential component of safe driving and it is one of the most important requirements for commercial drivers. Little is known about the visual acuity of commercial drivers and the perceived effect on driving in our setting. The study assessed the prevalence and pattern of visual impairment among commercial intercity vehicle drivers in Dutse, Jigawa State, Nigeria. A systematic sampling technique was used to select 172 commercial intercity vehicle drivers in four major motor parks in Dutse. All respondent were tested for distance visual acuity using Snellen’s tumbling E chart and categorised as normal (VA≥6/12) or vision impaired (VA<6/12). Drivers with impaired vision were further assessed to determine those due to uncorrected refractive error. Data was analysed using SPSS version 20.0. The mean age (±SD) of the respondents was 41.7 (±11.1) years. Prevalence of visual impairment was found to be 11.0% (n=19). Of those with visual impairment, majority (n=16; 84.2%) had impairment relating to uncorrected refractive errors, while the rest (n=3; 15.8%) had impairment originating from background pathology (diabetes, cataract and glaucoma). A third (32%) of the respondents had been involved in Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) in the past. However, there was no statistically significant association between visual impairment and involvement in RTA (χ²= 0.002, p= 0.90). Visual impairment mainly in the form of uncorrected refractive error was prevalent among commercial drivers in Dutse. Government and trade unions should introduce programs to ensure provision of appropriate eye care for all commercial drivers in the state.

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