Driving-related eyecare research revealed


  • Three quarters of employers unaware of impending legislation

  • One third of drivers with sub-standard vision.

Three quarters (78%) of employers are unaware of impending EU driving legislation aimed at decreasing the number of sight related road traffic accidents.

Research commissioned by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare* has revealed that one third of professional drivers have substandard vision. The driving related survey into eyecare policies across 187 UK companies, represented between 295,566 and 448,629 employees.

HR Managers are being urged to review their eyecare policies now as a simultaneous poll of 2,000 UK drivers reveals the extent of the problem of poor vision on our roads: of the respondents that had accidents in the last year 17% were as a result of poor vision or not wearing glasses. Contrary to opticians’ recommendations, one in three had not been for an eye examination in more than two years. A further six per cent said they had not had an eye examination in the last 11 years. Most shocking of all, one in five of those who need to wear glasses behind the wheel admitted they often do not bother to put them on. The survey also revealed that one in ten drivers have had an accident or near miss because they were not wearing their glasses while driving.* * 

New legislation covering eyetests for drivers was passed in the EU Parliament in 2006 and is set to be introduced to member states in 2011. The current proposal is that holders of commercial licences will have to have their eyes tested every 5 years, and holders of private licences will be tested every 10 to 15 years. Each member state has until 2013 to translate the directive into national law.

Laura Butler, corporate account manager for Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, says: ’It is astounding that more than three quarters of companies have not even heard of this new legislation. We hope to work with HR Managers to ensure that basic eye tests are implemented for everyone who drives in the course of their work. For everyone’s safety, this should be a priority now, regardless of the date when the actual legislation will come into force.’

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