With a remit to cover all areas of driving safety, fleet managers must ensure not only the standards of vehicles but also of the drivers themselves.
One in three drivers would fail an eyesight test
A staggering one in three drivers do not meet the legal eyesight standards*.
Over a period of eight months, Specsavers Corporate Eyecare carried out screening tests on visitors to its Drive Safe roadshows.
Previous studies had estimated the number of drivers with substandard vision to be one in six. The new evidence suggests the actual figure is more worrying still.
Duty of care
The Health and Safety Executive makes it clear that an employer’s duty of care extends to all work activities, including driving for work purposes.
With generally such poor vision standards for driving, this puts not only the individual driver and other road users at risk but also the employer.
An employer deemed to be failing in their duty of care is open to damaging charges.
Putting an eyecare policy in place is the best way for a fleet manager to fulfil their role and safeguard both the company and its drivers.
Implementing a policy
While occupational and fleet drivers are obvious candidates for eyecare, even those who occasionally make a short trip for a meeting, or pop to the post office, come under their employer’s duty of care for drivers.
A comprehensive eyecare policy is vital, therefore, to protect the employer and all employees.
Indeed, more time and expense can be spent trying to exclude a few individuals from a policy than it would take to offer a low-cost blanket scheme.
Optical Care For Drivers is a specifically tailored voucher scheme offer by Specsavers Corporate.
Fleet managers can purchase eyecare vouchers as and when required and then simply hand them out to relevant employees.
The vouchers can be taken to any Specsavers store and the bearer will receive a full eye examination and, if required, a pair of glasses suitable for their driving requirements.
If corrective glasses are not needed, the employee may select a pair of non-prescription sunglasses.
In addition, each eyecare voucher purchased by the company includes a ‘Premium Club’ voucher.
These entitle the employee to discounts on eyecare, glasses and contact lenses.
Each employee is entitled to three vouchers annually, one for them and two for members of their family.
Premium Club vouchers come at no additional cost to the employer and research shows that this additional benefit is highly valued by employees.
Eyecare vouchers offer employers a low-cost way to ensure that they are meeting their responsibilities and for the fleet manager, they are virtually admin-free.
Specsavers Corporate Eyecare has also just launched eVouchers.
This means fleet managers can purchase, manage and distribute eyecare vouchers online.
The employee purely needs the voucher code to redeem their entitlement so the entire system can remain paperless from beginning to end.
Campaigning for change
Driver eyecare is moving up the fleet agenda and not a moment too soon.
Working with the national road-safety charity, Brake, Specsavers has campaigned throughout the past decade for legislation to be introduced to make eye examinations compulsory as part of the driving test and at regular intervals thereafter.
This proposal is widely backed by employers, fleet managers and employees alike.
Driver information packs, providing the very latest guidance and information for fleet managers, are available free of charge from Specsavers Corporate Eyecare.
*These findings are derived from 852 survey responses and 677 vision screenings carried out during the 2012 Drive Safe Road Show, run by Specsavers in association with the road safety charity, Brake.