Is your eyesight road safe?

November 16, 2015
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Is your eyesight road safe?

BT Motoring News recently reported that a new study has shown that one and a half million drivers on the UK’s roads have never had their eyesight checked. These worrying statistics have led the road safety charity Brake to embark on a mission to highlight the importance of drivers getting their eyesight checked regularly, with help from the launch of a new safety campaign.

Sharpen up

Sharpen Up is Brake’s new interactive e-learning resource which is designed to highlight the importance of making sure your eyesight is OK before getting behind the wheel. Brake partnered with Specsavers to create the resource, which is targeted at anyone who wants to know more about driver eyesight as well as for driving instructors, fleet professionals and community leaders who work with drivers.

The BT Motoring News article helped to highlight the severity of the issue through a number of alarming statistics. They found that around 8% of drivers who say they need glasses or contact lenses do not wear them while they are driving. This figure is particularly worrying when it is estimated that around 2,900 road casualties in Britain are caused by drivers with impaired vision every year.

Safe levels

According to Specsavers, UK law states that your eyesight must be of a level where you can read a car number plate at 20.5m in clear conditions to class as safe for driving. They do say, however, that there are two problems with this, one being that drivers must self-test, which may not happen, and the second that it doesn’t account for visual fields or contrast sensitivity.  

Brake report that it is possible to lose up to 40% of your vision before noticing, which is why experts recommend that a professional eye test should be conducted at least every two years. If you notice a problem or are worried about your eyesight then it’s a good idea to visit an optician.

Vision is crucial for safe driving

Deputy chief executive of Brake, Julie Townsend, said:  “Making sure your vision is up to scratch is crucial to safe driving. It’s vital for drivers to get their eyes checked professionally at least every two years – eyesight can deteriorate rapidly without you noticing.

“Our new Sharpen Up e-learning resource shows people the dangers of driving with poor eyesight, encouraging them to make that vital trip to the opticians. The resource is a powerful tool that shows that if you drive, it’s not just your own health and safety that you are risking if you neglect to get your eyesight checked, but also the lives of the people around you.”

Take a look at the Sharpen Up interactive resource for more information about eyesight and safe driving, or visit Brake’s guidelines for driver eyesight.


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