Results of a survey by Brake, the road safety charity, has led them to call for the government to make eyesight tests compulsory for drivers. The survey was carried out with Specsavers and RSA Insurance Group and it showed strong agreement from the public, backing the idea that eyesight tests should be compulsory. Brake are suggesting that drivers should have to have their eyesight tested on renewal of their license every 10 years, with the hope and research-based indication that this change would significantly reduce the estimated 2,900 casualties caused by poor driver vision on an annual basis.
The Brake Driver Eyesight Survey 2014 found that 25% of drivers had not had their eyes tested in over two years, even though research suggests that you can lose as much as 40% of your vision before noticing. It also found that 19% had put off visiting the optician when they noticed a problem. More worryingly 12% of drivers who know they need glasses to drive have driven without them which is not only risky to their own road safety but others too.
The survey also found that 4% of drivers had never had their eyes tested and although 54% of UK drivers who believe they don’t need glasses, a worrying 33% of this number have no way of knowing this for sure, with no recent eyesight tests to prove their belief.
We have talked recently about how eyesight can deteriorate with age, which is bringing some to suggest older drivers should be tested more frequently and with the importance of being able to see clearly to integral to risk-free and safe driving, eyesight testing is surely a way of ensuring the number of road traffic accidents we see each year is decreased.
Brake Calls for Action
Brake is pushing for the government to introduce the need for drivers to prove they have had a recent professional eye test when applying for their provisional license and then further evidence of eyesight testing at least every 10 years thereon. The current system simply requires drivers to carry out the basic number plate test during their driving examination. This test simply requires the driver to read a number plate from 20 metres away and this doesn’t test every aspect of vision, with crucial elements such as visual field and contrast sensitivity being overlooked.
Brake’s advice to drivers it to ensure you have regular visits to the opticians, whether you wear glasses or not. Ensuring your eyesight meets legal standards is essential to avoid putting yourself and others at risk. If you notice a change in your vision it is integral you visit an optician right away to ensure any problems are solved and if you need glasses to drive, they are purchased. There is no excuse not to wear your glasses or lenses when driving, however much of a hurry you might be in. The risk simply isn’t worth it.
The more accountability each driver takes for their driving and their road safety, the safer the roads will be for us all. Dealing with thousands of road traffic accidents at Lamb & Co. means we have dealt with a wide range of different circumstances and in many cases, our client has been the victim of a driver who simply ‘didn’t see them’.