Drivers urged to book biennual eye tests in bid to reduce road accidents

Share Article

Specsavers highlights the importance of good eyesight when driving. Compulsory eye tests recommended for all road users. Drivers encouraged to keep spectacles in the car at all times. Research by Brunel University and Royal Sun Alliance suggests numerous road accidents caused by poor sight.

All road users need to have their vision checked regularly to ensure they’re not putting themselves and others at risk. An eye test only takes a few minutes but could mean the difference between life and death on the roads.

Road users are being encouraged to look after their eyesight and to recognise the dangers of poor vision when they get behind the wheel.

According to Specsavers Opticians, all drivers need regular eye tests in order to stay safe – and avoid road accidents. The UK’s most trusted opticians are calling for a range of vision-related safety measures to be made law, including the compulsory re-testing of drivers' eyesight at regular intervals after the issue of a driving licence.

Paul Carroll, Specsavers’ director of professional services, said ‘Our eyesight changes gradually over time, so many drivers may not even be aware that they are taking unnecessary risks every day on our roads.'

‘Being perceptive and alert as a driver - especially on congested roads - is essential, so it’s particularly important to follow the advice from the College of Optometrists and go for an eye examination around every two years, unless specified by your optometrist. Drivers that choose to ignore that are putting themselves and others in danger.’

Research by Brunel University and Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) has revealed that one in five road user has not had an eye test in the past two years. The findings also showed that drivers with the minimum legal vision required for driving strayed out of their lane 62 per cent more and could recognise only 77% of the road signs they passed, compared to normal vision. If any of these problems sound familiar then it’s time to visit the opticians.

‘It’s a tragedy when lives are cut short due to accidents that could have easily been avoided,’ Paul Carroll continued. ‘All road users need to have their vision checked regularly to ensure they’re not putting themselves and others at risk. An eye test only takes a few minutes but could mean the difference between life and death on the roads.’

Paul Carroll added: ‘We also recommend that you keep a spare pair of glasses in your vehicle, to ensure that you’re never caught out behind the wheel.’

Driving test candidates currently need to be able to read a number plate at 20 metres, for vehicles with a new-style number plate, or 20.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate. There are no further compulsory eyesight checks for UK drivers, so there is no way of knowing how many of the nation’s 31 million motorists are able to see clearly on our roads. Specsavers is urging the Government to review the law relating to drivers’ vision standards but in the meantime is encouraging motorists to take control of their own safety, by booking an eye test.

¹ Specsavers was voted Britain’s most trusted brand of opticians for the tenth year running by the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey 2011.

The compulsory production of a current eyesight prescription with any application for a driving licence.
The compulsory re-testing of drivers' eyesight at regular intervals after the issue of a driving licence.
Increased roadside eye checks, similar to random breathalyser and tyre checks.
Eye testing at the scene of an accident, where possible.
A law making it mandatory to carry spare corrective eyewear in a vehicle.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Anna Reich
Beattie Communications
0207 053 6000
Email >
Visit website