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Poor sighted drivers putting road users at risk

December 15, 2008

One in 10 drivers have had an accident or a near miss because they were not wearing their glasses while driving.

A survey, commissioned by Specsavers to mark Road Safety Week (November 24-30), reveals that 26% of drivers have not had their sight checked since they passed their test. Of those, nearly half believe they would fail an eye examination.

“These results show that a significant number of drivers are worryingly unsafe,’ says Helen Haughton, from road safety charity Brake.

“Being perceptive and alert as a driver, especially on congested roads, is crucial.

“It is therefore vital that everyone has their eyes examined regularly to ensure they are not putting themselves or anyone else at risk.”

The poll of 2,000 drivers follows an announcement that new EU driving licences should include a driver’s eyecare prescription.

The legislation, set to be introduced to member states from January 2011, will also force drivers to have eye examinations once every five years for a commercial licence and once every 10 to 15 years for a private licence.

Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins said: “We have long campaigned for regular compulsory eye examinations for drivers, along with the need for drivers to carry a spare pair of glasses when driving.

Source: Company Car Driver

“It is shocking to think that a British driver can go from the age of 17 to 80 without having a sight check. That presents a very real danger on our roads. We would like to see this EU legislation introduced in the UK and will do all in our power to urge the government to do so.”

The poll also revealed that 94% of those surveyed think drivers over the age of 60 should be made, by law, to have their eye sight regularly checked.

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