A survey by Venson Automotive Solutions has found that 40% of drivers have not had an eye test within the past two years.
The failure to meet the recommended testing frequency could mean that more drivers do not meet the required standards for driving legally. If a driver is pulled over by the police and can’t meet the ‘standards of vision for driving’, they put themselves at risk of a £1000 fine. Equally, they could also have points added to their license, or are also at risk of losing their license entirely.
Alison Bell, marketing director for Venson Automotive Solutions highlighted the importance of regular eye tests for all motorists, including fleet drivers, saying ‘Anyone can be stopped by the police and be asked to take a roadside sight test, regardless of whether the DVLA is aware of a health condition that affects your eyesight.
‘Failing that test can have serious consequences and may leave someone without a license and unable to drive. For someone who needs to drive for work, the consequences are extensive.’
Currently, it is not mandatory for drivers to update the DVLA if since passing their tests they now need glasses or contact lenses. However, the survey results from Venson show that one in three drivers do update the DVLA after being prescribed corrective eyewear.
Conversely, other conditions which can impact vision, including anxiety, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes should all be reported. While sight is not the only thing affected, having any of these complications could prevent people from legally driving certain vehicles, particularly lorries and buses.
Bell reiterated the importance of fleet operators ensuring their drivers are safe on the road and meet the required standards of vision for driving. She stated ‘If a fleet driver is found to be unable to meet the required standards of vision the company could be liable as well as the driver, and the driver may not be able to continue driving,
‘Therefore, it is in the best interests of the fleet operator as well as the driver to ensure eye tests are carried out at least every two years and that drivers always wear any corrective glasses or contact lenses they require.’
Meeting the standards of vision required for driving is paramount. With the rapidity that vision can change, leaving more than the maximum recommendation of two years between eye tests, puts all road users at risk. Not only are drivers in danger of losing their license, but unsafe driving can have a greater wider and more devastating impact.