A report commissioned by insurer RSA, has found that road crashes caused by poor driver vision result in an estimated 2,900 casualties and cost £33 million per year.
Brake and RSA are calling for the numberplate test to be replaced with a requirement for drivers to have a proper vision test with a qualified professional at the start of their driving career, and mandatory re-testing every 10 years thereafter linked to driving licence photocard renewal. Drivers should also be encouraged to voluntarily have their eyes tested every two years in line with NHS recommendations.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: “This report gives an indication of how many violent and devastating casualties on our roads could be prevented through a simple eye examination. Being able to see clearly what’s in front and around you is fundamental to safe, responsible driving. That’s why we urge drivers to have an eye test at least every two years, even if you think your sight is fine. We also hope to see common sense winning through and the government tightening up the rules on driver eyesight. To make our roads safer and ensure everyone is fit to drive we need a scientific eyesight test at the start of your driving career and compulsory re-tests at least every 10 years thereafter.”