Drivers' Poor Eye Sight Aggravating Road Accidents – Lapaire's Wambile –

23% of drivers, almost one quarter, on the road, are found to have trouble seeing effectively owing to eyesight issues and this statistic is even more startling when you consider that 80% of these visual problems are either preventable or treatable with simple corrective glasses or contact lenses, says Oliver Mwanko Wambile, PRO and Communications Officer, Lapaire East Africa.
Wambile says the human eye provides 90% of the information needed to drive safely and strong eyesight keeps the driver, the passengers and other users of the road safe.
“Numerous factors contribute to the innumerable traffic accidents that occur every year in Uganda and across the world with the main causes being; human error, excessive speeding, reckless and irresponsible driving, old, small roads, untrained drivers, and mechanically unsound cars, among many more. Three of the most frequent vision problems for drivers are: Nearsightedness (myopia) Farsightedness (hyperopia) and Cataracts,” he said.
Wambile explains that difficulties seeing things in the distance might cause delays in reading traffic signs or highway exits.
“Vision problems with adjacent objects might make reading your dashboard and understanding how quickly you’re driving and how much petrol you have difficult. This may sound insignificant, but consider that driving at 30 mph with uncorrected vision can take an additional 3 seconds to notice and read traffic signs.  That is enough time spent inattentive driving to miss an approaching vehicle or a person crossing the street. And, in the case of cataracts, the sooner you address the issue and let others drive in the interim the better,” he said.
Drivers with cataracts are 2.5 times more likely to get in an accident and according to Wambile, regular annual eye exams with an eye doctor are the most important approach to ensure your eyes are safe for driving.
Wambile raised these concerns ahead of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims commemorated on November 20 every year.
In addition to monitoring for eye illness, he emphasized, your eye doctor can guarantee that your vision prescription is always up to date and delivers the clearest vision possible with frequent checkups.
Through Lapaire, the Pan African Optician, everyone has access to a wonderful Vision Plan that allows them to see well and better without breaking the bank.  Lapaire provides free vision examinations and low-cost spectacles to citizens in seven African countries, including Uganda, Kenya, the Ivory Coast, Togo, Mali, Benin, and Burkina Faso

Every day, at least 10 people die on Uganda’s roads, according to the most recent WHO data published in 2020. Road traffic accidents killed 13,012 people in Uganda, accounting for 6.27% of all fatalities. The age-adjusted death rate in Uganda is 53.60 per 100,000 people, placing it sixth in the world.
During the launch of the annual Road Safety Week in December 2021, the Deputy Director, Traffic and Road Safety in the Uganda Police, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Phillip Acaye, told participants that over the last five years, at least 3,500 people have died on Ugandan roads every year, while close to 10,000 have narrowly escaped with severe injuries.


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