Drivers admit to ducking eye tests

Drivers are ducking eye tests with some who need glasses at the wheel often declining to use them, says a survey.

As many as 26 per cent of drivers have not had an eye test in the last two years, the poll by road safety charity Brake showed.

A total of nine per cent have not visited an optician for five years or more, while three per cent had not had eye checks for more than a decade, revealed the survey which also involved insurance company RSA and Specsavers.

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Of those who need glasses for driving, one per cent had driven without them several times in the past 12 months while two per cent had driven without them once a month or more in the past 12 months.

To raise awareness among drivers about their responsibilities, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is launching an online education campaign.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: “Being a driver is a huge responsibility, and means you need to look after your own health and fitness to drive as well as making sure your vehicle is roadworthy.

“If your vision isn’t up to scratch you are posing an enormous risk on roads, as being able to see properly is fundamental to being a good driver. Your eyesight can deteriorate rapidly without you noticing, and at the wheel that can be lethal. That’s why it is so important to get tested every two years and always wear glasses or lenses if you need them when driving.”

Jan Chandaman, head of medical licensing policy at DVLA, said: “Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and licensing rules play an important part in keeping our roads safe. Reducing road casualties is a top priority for the Government. All drivers are required by law to meet the appropriate eyesight standard at all times while driving.

“DVLA regularly reminds drivers of the ongoing requirement to meet the eye sight standard and that failure to meet the standard is an offence. This is also included in the Highway Code.”