Shock findings have shown that more than 55% of UK drivers currently have an optical prescription but a fifth of those drive without their spectacles or lenses.
Deacon Harle, chief executive of the Institute of Optometry, said: ‘Reduced vision can have a significant and potentially dangerous effect on driver competence. ‘It is essential that drivers who wear glasses or contact lenses have the correct prescription and that they have regular eyesight check-ups.’
The findings, in a study produced by Privilege Insurance, showed that 3% of drivers with an eyesight prescription but who don’t wear glasses admitted being involved in a driving incident as a result.
These included drifting out of lane, exceeding the speed limit or driving on the wrong side of the road.
Ian Parker, managing director of Privilege Insurance, added: ‘We urge all drivers to have annual eye tests and to always wear glasses or contact lenses when needed, no matter how short their journey.’
Company car drivers were among 1,300 motorists stopped by Essex Police to see if they could read a registration plate from 20.5 metres in a crackdown on poor eyesight this summer (Fleet NewsNet, August 11).
A number of those stopped had vision so bad they were told they could not continue on their journey and many more were only just legal.