A quarter of drivers who are legally required to wear glasses on the road admit they have broken the law by not doing so, a new survey by Specsavers and the road safety charity Brake has revealed.
Standards of vision while driving
A total of 60 per cent of the participants interviewed in the survey, during this year’s Footman James Classic Car Show at Event City, confessed that, while they were aware they should wear glasses when driving, they had previously flaunted this rule.
The DVLA states that if you need glasses or contact lenses to meet the ‘standards of vision for driving’ then you are breaking the law if you fail to wear them every time you drive.
By also inviting participants to take an indicative eye examination, the study, carried out by the Fallowfield Specsavers store, also found that 37 per cent of those tested failed to meet the legal standards of vision required to drive in the UK.
The survey of car enthusiasts was commissioned as part of the 10th anniversary of the Drive Safe Roadshow, which continues to see Specsavers and its national road safety charity partner, Brake, tour the UK’s motor shows and county shows to raise awareness of the importance of eye health care and safe driving.
The campaign is calling for:
• The compulsory production of a current eyesight prescription with 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 when possible
• A law making it mandatory to carry spare corrective eyewear in a vehicle.
Paul Showman, store director at Specsavers Fallowfield says: ‘As vision changes gradually over time people don’t always notice that their sight is no longer at a safe level to drive.
‘While drivers are asked to read a number plate at the time of their practical driving test, their vision is not then re-evaluated until the age of 70. It is essential that drivers maintain a high level of vision by having regular eye examinations.
‘We’re determined to ensure that drivers, such as those surveyed, are fully aware of how important eye health and regular examinations are to safe driving. If you are legally required to wear glasses when driving, it’s absolutely essential that you do so’.
Safety while driving
Almost 80 per cent of those surveyed believed that the main cause of accidents on the UK’s roads were distractions within the car such as mobile phones. This was followed by poor vision and road surfaces.
The DVLA states that drivers must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses) a car number plate from 20 metres away to be considered safe to drive.
Paul continues: ‘Drivers must have adequate field of vision to be considered safe on the roads; if you have any concerns about your level of visibility when driving I would suggest booking yourself in for an eye examination as a necessary precaution’.
For more information about the road safety charity Brake click here.