A campaign launched on 6 August calls on all drivers to have their eyesight tested every two years to ensure that their vision meets legal standards and they are not putting others in danger.
The campaign by Brake, working alongside the DVLA, the insurer RSA and Specsavers, follows a survey in which 26% of drivers said they had not have their vision tested in the last two years.
The survey of 1,000 drivers also reveals that 9% of respondents had not visited an optician in five years or more; 3% in more than a decade; and 3% – the equivalent to more than one million UK drivers, according to Brake – have never had their eyes tested.
Furthermore, 9% who need glasses or lenses do not always wear them when driving; and of those who claimed they don’t need glasses or lenses, 32% have not had their eyes checked in the last two years.
RSA also claims to have research which shows that failing to ensure that vision is good enough for driving is estimated to result in 2,900 road casualties a year.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: “If your vision isn’t up to scratch you are posing an enormous risk on roads, as being able to see properly is fundamental to being a good driver.
“Your eyesight can deteriorate rapidly without you noticing, and at the wheel that can be lethal. That’s why it is so important to get tested every two years and always wear glasses or lenses if you need them when driving.”
Adrian Brown, CEO of RSA UK & Western Europe, said: "It’s no wonder so many people aren’t fit to drive when eye tests aren’t required by law at any point once you’ve passed your driving test. Far more regular testing will mean safer, more responsible drivers and will be good for people’s health in general too."
Jan Chandaman, head of Medical Licensing Policy at DVLA, said: "All drivers are required by law to meet the appropriate eyesight standard at all times while driving. DVLA regularly remind drivers of the ongoing requirement to meet the eye sight standard and that failure to meet the standard is an offence – this is also included in the Highway Code.”
Contact Siobhan MacMahon, Brake, on 01484 550063 for more information.