An alarming number of drivers who are required to wear corrective eyewear for driving, are putting road safety aside and getting behind the wheel without wearing their glasses, research reveals.
Of the 1,000 drivers surveyed, one in three people who are legally required to wear corrective eyewear admit to not wearing their glasses while on the open road; and one in four say they do this regularly.
Professional Services Director of Specsavers and optometrist, Peter Larsen, said inconsistencies in legislation from one state to another were compounding the problem, as drivers were not receiving clear messages about the need for regular eye tests.
According to the Specsavers Unsafe Driving Report, over two thirds of spec-wearing drivers also have difficulty reading road signs and need to squint to read them. This figure increased dramatically to 75% among younger spec-wearing drivers aged 18–34, an age where the onset of myopia – or short-sightedness- is most common.
Mr Larsen said the study’s findings added weight to the view of many optometrists, that Australians are complacent about the impact of their vision on their driving performance.
“Good vision is fundamental to safe driving. Most of the information we need for driving we get through our eyes so it’s vitally important for people to make sure they can see properly before getting behind the wheel.” Mr Larsen said.
“When it comes to road safety, it’s important for spec wearers to have their eyes regularly re-tested to ensure they are fit to drive. However, according to our research, over a third of spec-wearing motorists hadn’t had their eyes re-tested within the last two years.”
“The best way to reduce the likelihood of having to drive without your glasses is to keep a spare pair in the glove box. Specsavers offer two frames for one low price so there are no excuses for being caught behind the wheel without them,” Mr Larsen said.
Signs you may need an eye test
• You squint to read road signs or number plates that are 50 metres in the distance
• You see blurred or double images and see haloes around headlights, street lights and traffic lights
• You find it harder to see clearly at dusk or night-time
• You regularly suffer from headaches
• Your eyes are sore or tired at the end of the day
• You haven’t had your eyes examined by an optometrist in the past two years.