One in four drivers do not have regular sight tests

Research from Vision Express has been released to coincide with Road Safety Week

Vision Express road safety

Vision Express has urged UK motorists to check that their sight is road-worthy during Road Safety Week (20–26 November).

The multiple has revealed research with YouGov, which found that 2900 road casualties in the UK per year are due to people getting behind the wheel with poor vision.

The research also found that one in four people who drive for work are not having regular sight tests and 6% admitted to not having one in the last 10 years.

Despite this, 86% claimed to feel unsafe on the road if other drivers have poor vision.

An ‘Eye tests save lives’ event has been held by Vision Express at Portcullis House, Westminster as part of the week’s activities to call on MPs to acknowledge how road safety can be improved with sight tests.

The event saw Health Minister, Philip Dunne MP get behind the wheel of a driving simulator to experience the impact glaucoma has on driving over time.

Optometrists from Vision Express took optical coherence tomography (OCT) images of MPs’ retinas to demonstrate how OCT machines can detect eye conditions up to eight years prior to symptoms appearing.

CEO of Vision Express, Jonathan Lawson, said: “Tellingly, the vast majority (93%) of drivers in our research believed they did meet the legal eyesight requirement for driving, yet over half (56%) couldn’t identify what this is, so there is a clear need to educate drivers about vision – particularly that half of all sight loss is preventable.”

Life-saving surgery

During Road Safety Week, Vision Express has also shared the story of Paul Constable from Queenborough, who went for a sight test after driving into the back of a lorry. 

The sight test led to life-saving surgery after a brain tumour was discovered. Mr Constable, who is 29, subsequently experienced sight loss in his right eye. 

As a result of his sight loss, Mr Constable has relocated to a job closer to home and sacrificed his driving licence. He hopes to regain his licence in the future.

Mr Constable, who had his sight test at Vision Express in Sittingbourne, is urging people to ensure that their vision is safe for driving by getting a sight test.