Poor eyesight in 20% of drivers

08 November 2005

  • One in five drivers travels without their glasses
  • 17% of drivers forgets their glasses regularly
  • 3% of poorly sighted drivers involved in incidents

vision - Euan squinting

Almost one in five drivers with poor eyesight has climbed behind the wheel of a car without wearing their glasses or contact lenses, according to a new survey by Privilege Insurance.

Even more worrying is that 17% of those who forget to don their specs do so regularly. That equates to over half a million drivers without 20/20 vision using UK roads – potentially on a daily basis.

Privilege's research also indicates that a significant 3% of all drivers with poor eyesight have been involved in an incident, such as drifting out of lane, driving on the wrong side of the road or exceeding the speed limit, while not wearing their glasses or lenses.

The survey of more than 2600 drivers also reveals that a quarter admitted they don't have their eyes tested at least every two years, as recommended. This may mean that more drivers could be breaking the law by unknowingly being unable to read a number plate from the required 20.5 metres.

Ian Parker, managing director of Privilege Insurance, told us: 'Surprisingly, our research has uncovered a large number of motorists who haven't had an eye test recently, so they may be completely unaware that they require glasses.

'Even more disturbing is the number of people with prescriptions, but who forget to put their glasses on before driving. We urge all drivers to have annual eye tests and to always wear their glasses – no matter how short the journey.'

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