Research from Specsavers Corporate Eyecare reveals that one in three drivers do not meet the legal standard of vision for driving.
Over a period of eight months, Specsavers carried out screening tests on visitors to its Drive Safe roadshows. Previous studies had estimated the number of drivers with substandard vision to be one in six.
This new evidence suggests the actual figure could be worse still. The increased risk to all road users is clear but there are also implications to be considered by employers.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that an employer’s duty of care extends to all work activities, including driving for work purposes – even if this constitutes only an occasional short trip for a meeting.
With one in three drivers likely to fail to meet the legal eyesight requirements, employers too are at serious risk if they do not have a comprehensive eyecare policy in place.
Two out of five people tested at the roadshows had not had an eye examination within the recommended two-year timeframe.
In addition, more than four out of five people with substandard vision were unaware of their failing sight and claimed their vision was good enough to drive safely.
Specsavers Corporate Eyecare claims proactive policy of regular eye examinations could easily be implemented by employers and, with savings on the associated costs of accidents, could prove cost-effective all round.
Laura Butler, corporate account manager at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, says: “In the UK, drivers have to pass the rudimentary ‘number plate test’ at the time of their practical driving test but for most drivers their vision is not then re-evaluated until the age of 70.
“Employers making the simple but crucial step of introducing regular eye examinations for all drivers are likely to gain on many levels. While the existing legislation remains, employers can play an important part in ensuring the safety of their staff and all road users.”
Please speak to our team of specialists for further advice on fleet safety and your company’s Duty of Care. We can also provide you with our useful Fleet Guide: Your Legal Responsibilities. Ask for details.