Essilor Study Highlights Importance of Good Vision for Taxi Drivers

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DALLAS—In an effort to raise awareness of World Sight Day (Oct. 10, 2013) and bring global attention to the importance of eye exams, Essilor took a closer look at how vision impacts us in everyday situations—specifically focusing on taxi drivers. To understand more, a team at Essilor visited 21 major cities around the world and met with 2,100 taxi drivers to conduct an international vision study on this important group of workers.

During the study, taxi drivers were interviewed with vision-related questions such as when they last had an eye exam, and they participated in far vision and 3D perception tests. The drivers were judged based on “normal vision,” defined as 10/10 visual acuity.

Essilor reported that 92 percent of New York City taxi drivers and 95 percent of Los Angeles taxi drivers who participated in the study were found to have normal vision. However, on a global level, results were mixed:

• 1 out of 5 taxi drivers does not have normal vision
• 4 out of 5 taxi drivers struggle to accurately judge distance, particularly when parking
• 1 out of 5 taxi drivers has not had an eye exam in the past five years

In an effort to improve the eyesight of taxi drivers around the world, those who participated in Essilor’s study were provided with vouchers to receive a free eye exam from their eye doctor.

“Having good vision is crucial, for taxi drivers as for every one of us,” said Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, Essilor International’s chief corporate mission officer. “But there is still a long way to go, particularly in terms of raising people's awareness of just how important it is to have their eyes tested regularly. For this reason, Essilor is working with eyecare professionals throughout the world on raising the general public's awareness of this important aspect of public health…”

To see a video about Essilor’s study of taxi drivers’ vision, click here.