Brake campaign reveals many drivers fail to get eyes tested
A survey of 1,000 drivers carried out by Brake, RSA and Specsavers found that a quarter of drivers (26%) haven't had a vision test in the last two years. A worrying one in 11 (9%) admitted not visiting the optician for five years or more, or never: for 3% it's been more than a decade and 3% (the equivalent to more than one million UK drivers) have never been.
Furthermore, many drivers who know they need glasses or lenses fail to wear them on every journey. Nearly one in 10 (9%) who need glasses or lenses don't always wear them when driving. Furthermore, of those who claimed they don't need glasses or lenses, one in three (32%) haven't had their eyes checked in the last two years, so can't be certain their vision is up to scratch.
Research shows that failing to ensure your vision is good enough to drive is estimated to result in 2,900 road casualties a year.
Working alongside the DVLA, insurer RSA and Specsavers, Brake has launched its Sharpen up campaign, calling for drivers to regularly visit their optician, at least every two years, to make sure their vision is fit for driving. It also calls on government to introduce a requirement for drivers to provide proof of a recent visit when applying for their provisional licence and every renewal after that.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, said: ‘Being a driver is a huge responsibility, and means you need to look after your own health and fitness to drive as well as making sure your vehicle is roadworthy. 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.’