Three in five glasses/contact lens wearers say they have driven without the correct eyewear, which they could be prosecuted for, according to new research.
The study, of 2,000 Brits, was commissioned by Optical Express to coincide with Road Safety Week – the UK's biggest road safety event, coordinated annually by Brake, the road safety charity. Due to these worrying statistics, we are offering drivers a complimentary eye test between the 19th-25th November.
Research revealed that more than half of people who wear glasses or contact lenses for distance vision activities have driven without their corrective eyewear, disregarding the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) regulations.
The DVSA states that you must wear glasses or contact lenses every time you drive if you need them to meet the ‘Standards of vision for driving’1, as driving without can endanger yourself and others.
Despite this, 13% of people polled said they don’t feel there is any real harm in driving without their prescribed glasses or lenses.
Amy Laux Clinical Governance Manager said: “Good eyesight is an essential requirement for safe driving, as drivers with poor vision increase their risk of collisions due to not seeing hazards and their reduced ability to react in time to dangers on the road.
“Unsurprisingly, the results of our survey showed that 75% have had some form of car incident as a result, with 44% bumping or scraping their tyres, clipping wing mirrors (30%) and scraping alloys (30%).
“On top of this, accidents are happening because of incorrect eye-wear – bumped in a car park (16%), hitting another bumper (12%), rear-end collision (11%) and bumping a lamp post (8%).
Looking at why glasses and contact lens wearers put themselves and others at risk, 46% stated they forgot, while 28% said they simply couldn’t find them.
But, and perhaps most worryingly, 11% choose not to wear them because they feel embarrassed and don’t like how they look in their eyewear.
“It is imperative that members of the public who hold a driving licence have a regular eye examination, whether they wear glasses and contact lenses or not, in order to make sure they meet the necessary requirements.
“As passing the sight test when you first passed your driving test doesn’t necessarily mean your sight is still up to standard. It is a very important public safety matter in the interest of the individual driver and the general public, as well as being a legal requirement before driving a car.” comments Amy.
We advise that most people should get their eyes tested at least once every two years, though for some a repeat examination would be recommended on an annual basis.
Any driver who is worried about their vision can book a free eye test throughout Road Safety Week until the 25th November 2018. Drivers can also take advantage of our FREE Glasses MOT2.
However, those looking for a permanent solution could try alternative vision correction treatments, such as Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK or LASEK) or Refractive Lens Exchange. 100% of patients treated with Laser Eye Surgery achieved driving standard vision or better3, as did 100% of our Replacement Lens Exchange patients4.
(1) Drivers and motorcyclists must be able to read a standard number plate from a distance of 20 metres (or 20.5m for an old-style number plate) wearing corrective lenses if required. You must wear glasses or contact lenses every time you drive if you need them to meet the ‘standards of vision for driving’.
(2) Free glasses MOT includes the following services:
- Clean and polish the glasses and lenses
- Secure the screws
- Ensure the fit is correct
- Make any necessary adjustments
(3) In a study of 8,863 Optical Express patients treated in 2017 with iDesign LASIK treatment, 100% achieved driving standard vision or better.
(4) In a study of 5,169 Optical Express Refractive Lens Exchange patients.
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