Dame Caroline Spelman MP is calling for improved awareness among UK drivers about the importance of having an up-to-date eye test before getting behind the wheel.
Recent Government campaigns to improve road safety have focussed on speeding, drug and drink driving, driver fatigue and mobile phone use, but the Meriden MP is urging the Roads Minister, Jesse Norman, to go further by encouraging driver’s to regularly check their eye health.
It is estimated that crashes involving a driver with poor vision cause 2,900 casualties each year. And research by Vision Express and OnePoll finds that 15% of drivers had not had an eye test since they passed their driving test - on average - 14 years previously.
Attending an event in Parliament the Meriden MP tested a driving simulator, replicating the experience of driving with Glaucoma. The event - hosted by Vision Express - coincided with Road Safety Week 2017 (Nov 20-26) and was designed to help raise awareness about the importance of having regular eye tests.
Dame Caroline said, “Through this campaign and use of the driving simulator I experienced for myself just how debilitating and dangerous it can be to drive with impaired vision.
“The fact is that many people don’t realise that changes in sight can be gradual, and experts say that it’s possible to lose up to 40% of your vision before even noticing it.
“Drivers of all ages owe it to themselves, their passengers, other road users and the public to take their eye health seriously. And with over 4 million small vans and HGVs on our roads, it’s absolutely vital that drivers who spend much of their day in transit regularly have their eyes tested”.