Creating safer roads in India through vision awareness drive on importance of good vision

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With 8,085 road accidents and an average of 4 deaths reported each day in Delhi in 2015, the lack of road safety is a serious problem that the city has to face. Essilor Vision Foundation has joined forces with automobile giant Toyota to offer vision care services to taxi drivers at Indira Gandhi International Airport and help raise awareness for Indians everywhere of the importance of good vision on the road.

Healthy vision is fundamental when it comes to safety and mobility.  Many studies prove the connection between sight and road safety: 90% of drivers’ decisions are based on vision and almost 60% of car accidents are due to poor sight. However, a staggering 23% of drivers worldwide have uncorrected poor vision. To engage and educate Indian taxi drivers on traffic safety challenges and the critical importance of making the roads safer with a more responsible approach, Toyota and Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF)  partnered in the context of two initiatives, the “Driver Training Program” and a “Health Check-up Camp” at Delhi International Airport. Experts from the Institute of Road Traffic Education held a three day interactive audio visual training session for the taxi drivers focusing on key traffic safety aspects including lane discipline, impact of drunk driving, traffic rules and guidelines. Essilor volunteers tested the drivers’ vision and conducted near and distance visual acuity tests as well as color perception and depth perception exams. The results of the eye exams prove the importance of this program with a high number of participants needing vision correction: out of over 700 drivers who participated in the training, 389 were found to have poor vision. About 100 ready-made reading glasses were dispensed on the spot while the other spectacles were made up to fit the drivers’ prescriptions and delivered in the following days.

Srashti Singh Gaur from Essilor India who volunteered for this initiative commented: “This has been a great learning for me as it is the first time I participated in an EVF initiative. The results have an impact on our every day lives here in India and we should keep doing these type of events in future.”

Mr. Naomi Ishii, M.D, Toyota Kirloskar Motor thanked the different parties involved in this project, including Essilor Vision Foundation, and commented on the campaign: “Through this initiative we aim at creating a strong road safety sense among the drivers, and encourage them to adopt safer driving practices. With this awareness drive we would like to give the right message to the airport drivers as well as the general public to ensure that our roads are much safer in the near future.”

A similar event is now planned to take place in Mumbai