Eye-sight initiative reveals ‘shocking neglect for road safety’

12.00 | 31 October 2017 | | 4 comments

Nearly one in five drivers have never had their eyes tested, according to new figures published by Vision Express.

During summer 2017, Vision Express ran a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of regular sight tests for drivers, visiting service stations across the country to provide free eye tests in support of the road safety charity, Brake’s ‘Driving for Zero’ initiative.

78% of those screened at these events were found to be ‘overdue an eye test’, while 37% had not their vision checked since passing their driving test – and 16% confessed to never having had their eyes checked, a revelation which Vision Express describes as a ‘shocking neglect for road safety’.

Vision Express says free eye test vouchers offered to drivers at service stations prompted a ‘significant peak in eye test enquiries’, with almost double (82%) the average weekly number of eye tests booked online when compared with the same period in 2016.

The national optician says it has worked ‘tirelessly’ since the 2015 Road Safety Week to raise awareness of the correlation between poor vision and motoring-related collisions, with this summer’s campaign the ‘latest in a line of successful driver eye health initiatives’.

Jonathan Lawson, CEO of Vision Express, said: “An estimated 2,900 casualties are caused by poor driver vision each year in the UK.

“This campaign was an important step in cementing our dedication to reducing that number and it’s great to see that so many drivers are now ensuring their sight is fit for the roads, by taking advantage of our free eye test offer this summer."

Category: Fit to drive.


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    The insurers should put an eye testing regime in place and they can check on the database when people go to re insure their vehicles. They are taking the liability, so they should be checking that the person they are insuring is not a risk. They would insist on a medical for life insurance but take on far higher liabilities when they let someone loose on the roads. They should be insuring the person not going by a table listing in a spreadsheet.

    Derek Hertfordshire
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    All drivers should have compulsory regular eye tests, throughout their years of driving, for the safety of all road users. Eye tests can then be recorded as having been done by the DVLA with regular reminders to do so in the future. Vehicles have MOTs for road safety, and drivers should have their vision checked for road safety too.

    Paula Collingwood, Devon
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    How would it be known that “An estimated 2,900 casualties are caused by poor driver vision each year in the UK”? Are the investigating officers now automatically carrying out on-the-spot eye tests as they would for drink-driving? Might some of the incidents not just be a case of not looking properly (with good eyesight)?

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    I would be more interested to know how many of the 2,900 casualties resulted from collisions involving people whose eyesight had been checked. Also how many of the people who have not had eyesight checks have defective eyesight? Just because a driver has not had their eyes checked then it does not mean they have defective eyesight.

    Nick, Lancashire
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