With statistics reporting a rise in road fatalities paired with a decrease in eye tests annually, Vision Express has teamed up with insurer Aviva as part of a new initiative that aims to “make roads safer.”
Working to highlight the importance of sight to motorists to help them safeguard their licences and improve road safety, Vision Express is offering free eye tests at any one of its 390-plus practices nationwide to those who download an associated voucher.
The initiative has been launched by the businesses after figures released by the Department of Transport showed that 1780 road deaths occurred in the UK in 2015, representing a 3% rise year-on-year. In addition, a Freedom of Information request reveals that 9034 licences were revoked from car and motorcycle (Class 1) drivers last year which cited poor vision as a factor.
Paired with this, the NHS General Ophthalmic Services report for 2014–15 documented the lowest number of eye tests in the lifetime of its annual ophthalmic summary, dating back to 2002–03.
CEO of Vision Express, Jonathan Lawson, said: “As Cassie’s Law has given authorities greater powers to revoke driving licences due to concerns about standards of vision, it’s never been more important to know that your sight is up to scratch.
“A sight test is recommended at least every two years, yet only around half of adults visit an optician every five years, with 8% never having had a sight test. That’s around four million people in the UK – and it’s alarming that many of these will be getting behind the wheel on a regular basis.”
The partnership coincides with Aviva’s long-term Drive Safer campaign, which is backed by a number of celebrities, including musician Tinchy Stryder and actor Martin Kemp.
Launched in December 2015 through a television advertising and marketing campaign, the initiative encourages drivers to check how safely they drive through the Aviva Drive app, based on acceleration, braking and cornering over 200 miles. Users of the Aviva Drive app are given an individual score out of 10 and drivers may then be able to use their score to achieve discounts on their Aviva car insurance.
Mr Lawson added: “For most people the only mandatory vision check is when they read a registration plate from 20 metres as part of a driving test, and the majority of drivers pass their test aged under 20. Crucially, we know that changes in eyesight can be gradual, and it’s possible to lose up to 40% of your vision before noticing it. That’s why this collaboration with Aviva, offering free regular eye tests, is an important step to safer motoring.”