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Hitting the road

As many families take to the roads to enjoy long weekends away over the May Bank Holiday, we are reminded of the importance of wearing our specs

12 May 2016 by Emily McCormick

May is one of my favourite months of the year – spring has fully sprung bringing with it daffodils and lambs aplenty, the sun begins to show its face and Bank Holidays bookend the month.

As a young child, May Bank Holidays usually meant hitting the road and heading on a family trip to the seaside – growing up on the coast, this sometimes meant a short drive/walk to the pebbles, while other times we would be in for the long-haul as we headed to Devon. Either way, buckets, spades and 99s would follow.

I’m sure these types of family-day activities are familiar to most. And as the second Bank Holiday of the month approaches and families begin to plan their road trips, research reminded me this week of the importance of vision and driving.

Results of a survey released by insurance company Direct Line revealed that one in five drivers who require vision correction ‘always’ take to the road without their specs or their contact lenses.

While this is worrying, and extremely dangerous, research highlighted that drivers tend to take the most risk in failing to wear vision correction during a short journey, with 26% of motorists admitting to travelling somewhere local without their vision correction. However 15% still admitted to not wearing vision correction on a long distance journey (defined as over 50 miles).

So as you talk to patients about their Bank Holiday plans, be sure to highlight the importance of them reaching for their specs as they grab their keys and head for the road – regardless of how short their journey may be.

Share your views on this research and read other people’s views on the AOP’s forum.

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