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Publications by ophthalmologists in regard to safety for motorists have dealt principally with visual requirements of drivers. Ocular fatigue should also be considered as a contributing factor in automobile accidents, and means of decreasing it should be of interest to the ophthalmologist as a motorist.
Automobile accidents account for over a million injuries and more than 38,000 deaths each year in the United States. No data have been found listing the eyes damaged or lost in highway accidents. However, it can be safely assumed that many eyes of the million injured have been ruined. This should be of concern to ophthalmologists.
It apparently has not been appreciated how tiring and disturbing the rapidly repeated visual stimuli caused by long stretches of white guard posts, reflectors, and broken white lines on the road's surface can be, particularly at night. They also have a hypnotic effect on some drivers.
Statistics published by
Atkinson WS. Ocular Fatigue: A Contributing Factor in Automobile Accidents. Arch Ophthalmol. 1962;68(6):721. doi:10.1001/archopht.1962.00960030725003
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