Drivers and riders are being urged by road safety organisation, GEM Motoring Assist, to have their eyesight tested. This comes as driver eyesight is linked to more than 3,000 fatal and serious injury collisions every year.
GEM road safety officer, Neil Worth, advised “you should only drive when you’re sure you can see properly”. “We continue to be concerned that there are too many people driving whose eyesight has deteriorated to a dangerous level”.
Current driver eyesight testing may be outdated
GEM also warns that our current driver eyesight regulatory system is no longer fit for purpose and needs updating. The test was introduced to the driving test in 1937, and has since only seen minor adjustments. These adjustments have mainly related to changes in number plates and their sizes.
GEM states current testing is crude and outdated, only measuring the sharpness of a drivers eyesight,not their field of view. There are many other aspects of a drivers eyesight which should be considered when assessing accuracy. These include peripheral awareness, eye coordination, depth perception, ability to focus and colour vision. GEM believe drivers should have a detailed eye test, that covers these points, every 2 years.
The organisation are calling for every new driver to have to produce evidence of a recent eye test when applying for a licence. They also believe drivers should obtain a mandatory vision test every 10 years in line with licence renewal.
The dangers of poor driver eyesight
James Hardy, a paralegal for our Personal Injury department, said: “We have dealt with a number of claims for victims who have been injured as a result of an individual driving a vehicle when visually impaired. It is not only your eyesight you should have checked but your physical health too i.e. if you are prone to black out’s etc.”
“When putting yourself behind the wheel of a vehicle, you are driving what is a potentially deadly weapon. Therefore the importance of regular eyesight and health checks, cannot be stressed enough.”