Road safety charity Brake estimates that poor eyesight is linked with approximately 3,000 road casualties a year and 1.8 million drivers have vision below the minimum standard.
Road users by law must be able to read a number plate from 20 meters away, with glasses or contact lenses if required.
Brake is urging drivers to get an eyesight check to make sure they meet the necessary requirements for driving. This coincides with Road Safety Week, running between 20th and 26th of November, which aims to inspire schools, organisations and communities to take action on road safety.
Stephen Hannan, clinical services director at Optical Express, said: “Good eyesight is an essential requirement for safe driving.
“Drivers with poor vision increase their risk of collisions due to not seeing hazards and their inability to react in time to driving hazards. A number of drivers are also unaware they actually have a vision impairment and as a result never seek or receive the proper vision correction or treatment they need.
“Dark evenings and poor weather conditions can also result in reduced visibility, meaning drivers should be even more cautious of conditions and other road users during dark wet winter evenings.”
Hannan said that passing the sight test when a driver first passed their test doesn’t necessarily mean their sight is still up to standard.
He said: “It is a very important public safety matter in the interest of the individual driver and the general public, as well as being a legal requirement before driving a car. Plus, with free eye tests widely available with purchase, it’s easy to get your eyesight checked on a regular basis.”