January often comes with New Year resolutions and you may often hear the phrase ‘New year, new me’. Quite often these resolutions are based around health and fitness however, how many of us include our eyes within this?
Vision problems are a common occurrence in the UK with an estimated 74% of the British population using glasses, contact lenses or having had laser eye surgery. However, these vision issues do not always mean that you must surrender your licence. The UK law states that drivers must be able to read a car number plate from 20 metres away, with lorry and bus drivers required to meet higher, more specific vision standards.
Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesman, explained: “Having good vision is absolutely essential for safe driving. It is vital that motorists have their eyes checked by an optometrist every two years, or if they notice any changes to their vision.” Despite this, a road safety survey found that 25% of UK drivers do not adhere to this. It also found that astonishingly, approximately 1.5 million licence holders have never had their eyes tested.
If you are found to be driving with less than sufficient vision you could risk facing up to a £1,000 fine, three points on your licence or potential disqualification from driving. If you are deemed to be a risk to the public, the police could also request to have your licence revoked with immediate effect.
With an estimated 2,900 injuries and costs of around £33 million a year in the UK as a result of road crashes involving drivers with poor vision, make sure you do not become another statistic. Companies such as Specsavers and Vision Express often run free eye test campaigns making it quick and easy to get your eyes tested.
If you make one resolution this year, make your eyes the priority!