LV= research suggests that poor sighted drivers put lives at risk
LV= has revealed new research conducted amongst motorists that shows many drivers are still getting behind the wheel, despite having poor eye sight.
The research conducted by LV= car insurance reveals that 4.2 million drivers who don’t currently wear glasses admitted their vision was ’not perfect’ although they still drive and 1.1 million drivers who are prescribed glasses or lenses for driving said they don’t always wear them whilst behind the wheel.
Among the 53% of motorists that don’t currently wear prescribed glasses or lenses, the statistics reveal that nearly a quarter (23%) confess that their eyesight is ’not perfect’, and around one in ten (11%) admit to finding it difficult to see at night and one in twenty (6%) say they struggle to see in poor weather.
Yet despite these problems a third of these motorists say they haven’t had their eyes tested in the last five years with a further one in eight (13%) saying they either had a test over ten years ago or they have simply never bothered.
Aside from the number plate reading test in the driving exam, drivers are not currently legally required to have an eye test until they are 70 years old, although medical experts recommend that all drivers have an eye test at least every two years, regardless of whether they think their eyesight is okay for driving.
And in a test among 256 randomly selected drivers, one in ten (9%) were unable to make out a number plate just over 20 metres away on their first attempt. This rose to 18% of all drivers aged 55 and over5.
If motorists drive when they cannot see clearly and do not meet the visual requirements, they could be fined £1,000, receive three penalty points or be disqualified from driving. If drivers are involved in an accident caused by their lack of vision they could be charged with reckless or dangerous driving and potentially face a prison sentence.
Tony Russell, optician with online glasses retailer SelectSpecs.com, commented: “Eye care is often neglected, especially by people who have never worn glasses before. Regardless of how accurate you feel your eyesight is, it generally changes over time and it may not be immediately noticeable because you tend to get used to imperfect vision as it slowly deteriorates. It is recommended that you have your eyes checked at least every two years.”
John O’Roarke, LV= car insurance managing director, said: “The number plate test is a compulsory requirement of the driving test for a very good reason. However, this is no substitute for regular eye examinations as eyesight can change significantly over time. Driving with poor eyesight is a criminal offence and can result in a fine, penalty points or even a ban, as well as invalidating your car insurance when it comes to making a car insurance claim.”
Notes to Editors:
Research amongst drivers was conducted by Opinium Research. Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2,490 British drivers from 1 to 5 July 2010. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.
Live research amongst 256 randomly selected drivers across the UK was carried out by PCP research from 29 June and 17 July 2010.
LV= is a registered trade mark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. LV= offer a range of insurance products including home insurance, car breakdown cover, life insurance, pet insurance and over 50 life insurance. LV= employs over 4,000 people, serves over 3.8m customers and members, and manages around £9.5bn on their behalf.
Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited, registered in England and Wales number 3232514, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number 202965.
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