Drivers admit to avoiding eye tests due to cost-of-living crisis

Drivers admit to avoiding eye-tests due to cost-of-living crisis

Around a fifth of drivers who already need glasses for driving have not had an eye test for at least 3 years, according to Venson Automotive Solutions. The fleet solutions company is encouraging fleet operators to make sure that all of their drivers meet the required standards of vision for driving.

Of those motorists who wear glasses but have not had a recent eye test, 39% mentioned that they could not afford the cost of the eye test, didn’t have time to prioritise it or are afraid they would not be able to afford glasses if prescribed by an optician.

The survey also found that 40% of drivers skipped an eye checkup in the past two years. Leaving more than two years between eye tests can put drivers at risk of being unsafe on the road as vision and general eye health can deteriorate in this time.

Having your eyes tested regularly is important to make sure that your vision is safe for driving. Opticians and road safety experts recommend every adult have an eye test every two years at a minimum. Drivers with eye issues should have check-ups more often.

What are the rules?

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) states that drivers must have a 6/12 vision as a minimum. Drivers of lorries and larger vehicles must have at least 6/7.5 vision. This is using the Snellen scale for vision, and the DVLA says that if drivers need glasses to see clearly when driving then they must wear them.

While conducting new research into driver eyesight, the DVLA found that 45.8 percent of drivers know the legal eyesight requirement to drive safely. Drivers must be able to read a car number plate from 20M away. This allows them to pass the eyesight segment of their test and drive safely. If a driver requires glasses or contact lenses, they must be worn for every journey. 20% incorrectly believed the distance to be 15 meters and 6% of drivers didn’t know what the required distance was at all.

Police have the authority to stop and deliver an eye test to anyone who is driving dangerously, and those who are found without suitable “standards of vision for driving” could face having their license revoked. Other penalties may include a £1,000 fine or points on their license.

It is not a legal requirement for drivers to notify the DVLA if they need glasses since passing their test, but the study found that 1 in 3 drivers notify them anyway. There are other health conditions that could affect vision also mean that drivers cannot operate larger vehicles. These include:

  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

Drivers with these conditions should report them before operating large vehicles. Fleet operators have a responsibility to ensure all of their drivers are road safe and well before driving. Only half of the drivers asked were aware that an employer must provide and pay for an eyesight test for employees who use Display Screen equipment.

Alison Bell, Marketing Director for Venson Automotive Solutions stated:

”If a fleet driver is unable to meet the required standards of vision the company could be liable as well as the driver. It is in the best interests of the fleet operator as well as the driver to ensure eye tests are carried out.”

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