With darker and longer nights already upon us and the Christmas party season getting closer, stores in Scotland are reminding local people of the importance of looking after their eyesight and having regular eye tests in order to stay safe on the roads.
Out in the dark
Good eyesight is a basic requirement for safe driving. Poor vision increases the risk of collisions due to the driver’s inability to recognise and react in time to a hazard or the behaviour of other road users. Vision is reduced when it’s dark, and if you are having problems with your vision, this could present more difficulties.
Untreated eye conditions can occur gradually over time. In extreme cases, someone can lose up to 40% of their vision without being aware they have a problem.
A hazardous time of year
Statistics from road safety charity Brake prove that it is more hazardous to be out and about during darker evenings. Figures show that there are more than twice as many pedestrian deaths in December than in June. In total, there are 2,900 causalities caused each year due to poor driver vision and 55 causalities every single week.
It is vital that people look after their eyesight, especially at this time of year.
Time for an eye test
Because eyesight can decay without noticing, experts recommend having a professional eye test at least every two years or straight away if a problem arises.
A professional eye test checks vision over distance and tests for other visual defects, including problems seeing things in the central or peripheral vision. Visual field defects can be caused by illnesses such as glaucoma, retinal disease or cataracts.
Drivers with visual field defects have double the incidence of road crashes and traffic violations compared to drivers with a full visual field, and almost half people with visual field loss are unaware of the problem
But despite this, many drivers do not get their eyes tested regularly or even at all.
If in doubt, pop into your nearest Specsavers
You are entitled to have an NHS-funded eye test every two years and your friendly team of Specsavers opticians are here to help and aid your concerns.