As Road Safety Week gets underway, opticians across the country are stepping up the campaign to make drivers aware of the dangers and consequences of driving with poor eyesight.
Throughout November, Peter Gerber Eyecare Opticians has been backing the nationwide ‘Think about your eyes’ campaign, which is emphasising the importance of regular eye tests for drivers.
It is estimated that around 3,000 casualties occur each year as a direct result of drivers’ poor vision.
The aim of the ‘Think about your eyes’ campaign is to ensure all drivers attend their local opticians for an eye test if they haven’t done so in the last two years.
Throughout Road Safety Week, which runs all this week, optometrists will be visiting petrol stations around the country to check if drivers can clearly read a number plate at 20 metres, as required by the DVLA. They will also be conducting basic eye exams to ensure drivers’ vision meets the DVLA’s other requirements.
The campaigners are hoping to persuade participants to follow up the basic tests with a full eye examination at their local opticians. This will ensure no vision problems are missed, and neither are any conditions such as age related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Don’t put off your eye test
Worryingly, a recent survey of 1,000 drivers revealed one in four has not had an eye test in the past two years. Of these, 3 per cent admitted they had never had one.
This means there could be more than one million drivers in the UK who have never had their eyes tested, many of whom may be driving with vision that falls below the standard required by the DVLA.
Yet a routine eye examination could reassure these drivers that their vision is adequate for driving – or ensure they have the necessary corrective lenses if not.
Don’t drive without your glasses or contact lenses
The survey also discovered that 11 per cent of drivers who need glasses or contact lenses to drive do not always wear them.
The campaign aims to highlight how dangerous driving without the required corrective lenses could be to other road users and pedestrians, while reminding drivers of the high penalties to be paid for the offence. These include a £10,000 fine, three penalty points, possible insurance invalidation and disqualification from driving.
Anti-reflective coatings and tinted lenses
The sun’s glare can be dazzling in the mornings and afternoons in the autumn and winter, as can oncoming lights at night. If you wear spectacles, we recommend an anti-reflective coating to help reduce the glare of the sun and headlights.
Tinted lenses can also help you see more clearly on sunny days – but if you are driving at sunset, remember to take your clear lenses for driving after dark. If you regularly drive at sunrise and sunset, photochromic lenses are a good choice as they automatically adjust to changing light conditions.
For advice about vision standards for driving or to make an appointment for an eye examination please call us on 01473 240400. We look forward to hearing from you!