DriveTech is excited to be supporting Road Safety Week organised by Brake, so look out for our tips and advisories throughout the week to help you stay safe and to work towards reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
The whole idea of Road Safety Week is to raise awareness and encourage you to share the messages with your own business driving communities.
Eyes on the Road
Research carried out by one of the country’s largest optical retailers, Specsavers, suggests that fewer than half of firms have in place a policy to check the eyesight of professional drivers. Good eyesight is a basic requirement for safe driving.
- Visual impairment is very common – almost three quarters (74%) of people in the UK either wear glasses or contact lenses, or have had laser eye surgery to correct their vision. Long- or short-sightedness is the most common, and can affect anyone at any age
- In the UK, drivers must be able to read a modern car number plate from 20 metres away
- The number plate sight test is carried out when a learner driver takes their driving test and may also be conducted by police at the roadside if they suspect a driver has an eyesight problem
- You must tell the DVLA if you’ve got any problems with your eyesight that affects both of your eyes, or the remaining eye if you only have one eye. You don’t have to tell the DVLA that you are short or long sighted, or colour blind, or that you’ve had surgery to correct short sightedness and can meet eyesight standards
- Road crashes, caused by poor driver vision, are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties and costs £33 million in the UK every year
- Bus, coach and truck drivers have to meet higher vision standards than other drivers
- Drivers aged 70 and over have to declare that their eyesight meets minimum legal standards when renewing their licence, but do not have to show evidence of this
- There are several health conditions that have an impact on vision, such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, double-vision (diplopia), diabetes and heart disease
- We recommend that you have your eyes tested at least every two years, by a qualified optician, to check for visual impairments
- Prescription glasses, or corrective lenses, must be worn when driving. We recommend that you keep a spare pair in your vehicle as a precaution
- We recommend that ‘night vision glasses’, which claim to enhance vision when driving at night, are not worn
- Find out if your employer has an eyesight screening programme in place for employees who drive for business.
This is to ensure that the legal requirements set out in the Highway Code are met. A statement regarding eyesight legal requirements should be included within a driver safety handbook
- Employers reserve the right to ask employees to demonstrate that their eyesight meets the required standard. If the standard is not met, organisations may insist your eyesight is tested by a qualified optometrist and could withdraw permission to drive for work until this is done
Sources  Britain’s eye health in focus, College of Optometrists, 2013  SixthSense Opticians Survey, YouGov, 2011  Driving eyesight rules, DVLA, 2014  DVLA https://www.gov.uk/driving-eyesight-rules  Fit to Drive: a cost benefit analysis of more frequent eyesight testing for UK drivers, RSA Insurance Group plc, 2012
To WIN a day of pit-stop presentations for you and your drivers, please answer the following question;
Every year in the UK, how many casualties are caused by poor driver vision?