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How Many Of Us Have Our Eyesight Tested?

Eye Tests are a small price to pay - Vision is some times overlooked

Forty five minutes in one chair or face a lifetime in another kind of chair?

Research by one of the UK’S top opticians and the National Opinion Poll has found that as many as 3.5 million people could be driving with eyesight below the legal minimum requirement. The study found that 22% of British drivers who need glasses or contact lenses have knowingly driven, putting themselves and many others at risk.   This is most common amongst younger drivers:  35% of drivers aged between 17 and 24 do not always drive with their eye wear, compared to approximately 20% of those aged between 45 and 54.

Research conducted this year by top Opticians found that 87% of drivers are in favour of compulsory eye examinations every five years, especially for drivers over 40 years old. Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 53% were also in favour of random roadside testing of drivers' eyesight.

This survey also revealed:

  • 1in 3 drivers may not have had any form of an eye test in the last two to four years
  • 65% thought that carrying a pair of corrective glasses should be required by law
  • 57% of drivers requiring corrective eye wear did not carry a spare pair of glasses with them while driving.

The Law

Drivers are legally required to be able to read a number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres and to wear their corrective prescription eye wear at all times.  If this government standard requirement is not met, then your insurance becomes invalid.

Certain eyesight conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and double vision, must be reported the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agents Centre in Swansea. Drivers must also be able to see clearly out of the corners of their eyes and see clearly when driving in the dark. Drivers who have been involved in an accident but have not had regular eye examinations face a fine and points on their license.

In extreme cases, offenders can be sent to jail.  This happened recently to a driver with “extremely poor” vision who killed an 18 year old girl.  The family hopes that this tragedy will be a strong warning to others to ensure that their eye-sight vision is good enough for them to be on the road.

An eye-sight test doesn’t take long and it could help you save some one’s life, maybe even your own

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