Drivers risk accidents by failing to wear vision correction

A survey by Direct Line Car Insurance found that 21% of motorists who require vision correction ‘always’ drive without their spectacles or contact lenses

27 Apr 2016 by Emily McCormick

Steering wheelOne in five (21%) motorists who require spectacles or contact lenses admit to ‘always’ driving without them, research released by insurance company Direct Line reports. This is the equivalent of 13.3m motorists driving with poor eyesight as a result of not wearing their vision correction.

The survey of more than 2000 people also found that those who require spectacles or contact lenses yet drive without them increase their risk of having an accident by four times.

While 16% of drivers have had an accident in the past two years, this figure jumped to 67% for those who needed vision correction and did not always wear it.

Furthermore, 37% of motorists responding to the survey admitted to not a sight test in the last two years.

The survey highlighted that drivers tended to take the most risk in failing to wear vision correction during a short journey, such as to the doctors or ‘popping to the shops,’ with 26% of motorists admitting to travelling somewhere local without corrected vision in the last year. This compares to 15% who did not wear vision correction on a long distance journey, defined as over 50 miles.

In addition, one in 10 said they had taken children to school without wearing their spectacles or contact lenses.

Director of motor insurance at Direct Line, Gus Park, said: “Driving with poor eyesight is illegal and can be as dangerous as drink driving. If caught, you risk invalidating your insurance, receiving a fine and in some cases, risk imprisonment.”

Road Safety Week is hosted annually and this year runs from 21–27 November.

Image credit: Flickr/Cody Reid


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    I have to take issue with the stats quoted. No study has ever found a link between poor eyesight and higher accident rate. Exactly the opposite in fact. Studies show that those with poor eyesight tend to drive slower and therefore have fewer accidents.

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