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Aim: To determine the relationship between visual status of commercial motor vehicle drivers and road traffic accidents (RTA) in an urban area of Niger Delta, Nigeria.
Methods: Four hundred commercial vehicle drivers in the 10 major motor parks of Port Harcourt LGA were interviewed and examined in this study. A structured questionnaire on demographic characteristics, driving and ocular history was administered. Ocular examination included visual acuity, refraction, visual field, tonometry, colour vision test and ophthalmoscopy. The data collected was entered into computer using EPI-INFO statistical software for analysis. Ethical approval was obtained from relevant authorities.
Results: Seven drivers (1.8%) out of 400 drivers examined were visually impaired. There were 14 cases (3.5%) of monocular blindness. Eighteen (4.5%) were colour blind (p>0.05) while 16 (4%) had visual field defects (p>0.05). One hundred and eighty two (45.5%) drivers had been involved in RTA, out of which 2 drivers (1.1%) were visually impaired (p>0.05). Cataract found in 37 cases was the leading cause of visual impairment (42.8%). Other common ocular problems were pterygium (26.7%), presbyopia (22.9%), glaucoma (11.5%), and refractive error (8.4%).There was no statistical significant association between the ocular findings and RTA
Conclusion: Only a few of those involved in RTA were actually visually impaired. Therefore, other factors may have been responsible for the majority of the cases of the RTAs in this study necessitating the need for more research.