Research reveals eyesight complacency for drivers | Motoring Issues - Car News Nov 2016

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12:41 Friday 25 Nov 2016

New research by a leading opticians has found that 15% of drivers haven’t had their eyesight checked since passing their driving test.

More than nine-out-of-ten drivers who responded the Vision Express survey boasted that their eyesight met the minimum legal requirement despite 60% of those being unable to correctly identify what that requirement is.

Fifteen per cent admitted that since reading a standard number place, in good daylight, a 20 metres distance, in order to pass their driving test, they have since had no checks carried out on their vision, a period of 14 years on average.

Many motorists seem oblivious to the potential penalties for not keeping tabs on their eyesight. At any time a police officer can require a driver to undertake the number place eyesight test, with a £1,000 fine, three licence points, or even a discretionary disqualification the result of being found driving with defective sight.

The news has prompted road safety groups to call on drivers to take responsibility and get their eyesight tested regularly.

Neil Worth, spokesman for road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist, said: “Around 90% of the information we process is visual, so what we see is a fundamental element of our decision making. That’s why it’s so important to get regular checks. Many of us take our eyesight for granted, so the tendency is to ignore eye health. Changes in our vision can be slow, so we may not notice subtle differences.”

It is recommended to get your eyesight tested every two years, and annually for the over-70s.  Eye tests are free for those aged over 60. It is especially important if night driving is causing discomfort, as a wide range of medical conditions can contribute to poor night vision and it is vital this is identified – don’t resort to masking the problem by wearing sunglasses or tinted lenses. If you have been told you need to wear glasses for driving please do so, as a failure would not only increase risks of an accident by could also invalidate your insurance, and if you have a spare pair of glasses consider keeping them in the car.


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