Mark Skaife sets his sights on safer Australian roads

Australian motoring legend, Mark Skaife OAM, today launches a road safety campaign in partnership with Specsavers, calling on all Australian motorists to protect themselves and other road users by ensuring they have clear vision before getting behind the wheel.

The campaign comes in response to new research from Specsavers, which reveals that as many as two million motorists – over a quarter (26%) of those who wear prescription glasses – admit to driving a vehicle even though they don’t have their glasses with them.

Alarmingly, more than six million motorists (38%) in total say they have trouble seeing while driving. Difficulties reading road signs from a distance (23%) and straining their eyes while trying to read road maps (11%) were cited as key problems.

These figures show an apparent complacency from Australian drivers towards not only their own, but others’ safety on the road. In 2015 19.1% of Australian motorists reported having at least one crash a year1 and so far there have been 12.9% more deaths in 2016 than 20152. Some of these crashes could be prevented by simply ensuring we all have clear vision when we drive.

In Australia the top reasons for driving without clear vision include;

  • Forgot or misplaced their glasses (18%)

  • Thinking that it is ok to drive only a short distance without their glasses (8%)

  • Having broken their glasses (3%)

Mark, a five time champion of the V8 Supercar Championship and six times a winner at Bathurst 1000, knows only too well that good eyesight behind the wheel can be a matter of life and death. Mark is encouraging all drivers to take responsibility for their vision on the roads, urging drivers to have an eye test every two years and ensure they are wearing the right prescription frames, at all times.

Mark Skaife said, “From my career as a racing driver, I’ve learned that preparation is key to being in the safest position on the race track and it’s no different when it comes to driving on the road. The importance of drivers having the right prescription glasses with them at all times, both for their own safety and for the safety of other road users can not be underestimated.”

“I recently had an eye test at my local Specsavers store and the results took me completely by surprise. I had thought that my current prescription was fine however a quick consultation showed that I needed to upgrade to a stronger prescription for driving, so I’m encouraging all motorists who wear glasses to ensure they get tested regularly. I always ensure that I keep a second pair of glasses in my car at all times, so I don’t forget to use them while driving!”

Specsavers Optometrist and Director of Professional Services, Peter Larsen, is calling on motorists to book an eye test. “As an optometrist, I find the number of Australian motorists driving without their prescription glasses worrying. I recommend that all motorists have an eye test every two years and carry the right prescription eyewear with them at all times when on the road. At Specsavers, eye tests are bulk billed to Medicare, so there is no out of pocket expense to customers.”



All Specsavers driving research conducted by Galaxy research 2015

1 Accessed August 2016

2 Accessed August 2016