The Association said vision was one of the most important sensory factors for driving.
“Drivers with good vision have an advantage over those with poor vision as far as Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) are concerned,” Dr Alfred Gardemor, GOA Public Relations Officer stated at Ghana News Agency-Tema Regional Office and the Ghana Optometric Association fortnightly public sensitization initiative “GNA-GOA: My Eye! My Vision!
The initiative is a collaborative public education advocacy campaign to promote the need for people to access eye care and also to draw attention to vision health.
The GNA-GOA: My Eyes! My Vision! The initiative also seeks to challenge the public and policymakers to focus on vision as a health issue, which forms a critical component of mankind’s wellbeing but is often neglected.
Dr. Gardemor who quoted from a survey conducted in 2015 by a team of researchers headed by Dr Samuel Bert Boadi-Kusi, Department of Optometry, University of Cape Coast said “RTAs are a major health problem worldwide, and a leading cause of death from trauma with an estimated annual death of 1.2 million and up to 50 million injuries worldwide”.
He said in Ghana, RTAs, with their associated fatalities were on the increase over the years, and are reported to be higher than in most West African countries, being second after Nigeria, stressing that road safety education must now focus on good vision in driving.
“Colour vision plays an important role in driving, as a defect leads to difficulty in recognizing traffic signs and signals, as well as signals from other vehicles.
Dr. Kwame Yeboah Junior, an Optometrist at Cape Coast Teaching Hospital answering question noted that among the five senses, vision was the most important to the driver and road safety and explained that it was needed to make the driver see the road and everything on it, protect the pedestrians, identify road hazards, road signs, indicators on the dashboard among others.
He said most of the drivers after going through eye test to acquire a drivers’ license, did not go back to check their eyes.
Dr. Yeboah said the importance of vision in driving could not be overemphasized adding that it was an essential element that could not be overlooked.
Mr. Francis Ameyibor GNA Tema Regional Manager explained that as part of “GNA-GOA: My Eyes! My Vision! “We are combining the forces of our professional calling as Optometric Physicians and Communication Experts to reach out to the public with a well-coordinated message”.