We all know the importance of regularly having our vehicles checked to ensure that they’re roadworthy, and of making sure that we have the best quality spare tyres in Rotherham in case we should need them.
But it seems that many drivers are failing to take their own health into account when getting behind the wheel, and more specifically their eyesight.
The Association of Optometrists (AOP) recently released the findings of a survey which found that 44 per cent of optometrists in the UK had seen a patient in the last month who continued to drive, despite being told that their vision is not up to the legal standard required.
As a result the organisation has launched a campaign: Don’t swerve the sight test. The aim is to get more motorists to go for regular eye checks and to bring about a change in the law that would see drivers’ eyesight regularly tested.
Nearly half (47 per cent) of the public support tighter laws relating to vision for driving, while 86 per cent of drivers said they’d be happy to have their eyesight assessed once every five years or more frequently.
The AOP survey also found that, worryingly, 12 per cent of drivers would continue to get behind the wheel, even if they were told that their vision couldn’t be brought up to the legal standard for driving.
AOP professional advisor and optometrist Henry Leonard stressed the importance of having regular eye exams. “Sight loss can often be gradual, and people may not notice changes that could affect their ability to drive,” he said.
It’s estimated that nearly 3,000 accidents are caused each year by drivers with poor vision. Another thing that could contribute to a road accident is stress, but research published recently in the Independent revealed that over 30 per cent of drivers regularly get behind the wheel when they’re stressed.