Drivers should take mandatory eye test at 58, Derbyshire residents say

More than half of people in Derbyshire think drivers should face a mandatory eye sight test at 58, according to a new survey.
More than half of people in Derbyshire think drivers should face a mandatory eye sight test at 58, according to a new survey.

Derbyshire residents think motorists who cause accidents when not wearing their glasses should face the same punishment as drink drivers, a new survey has found.

And people living in the county also believe that drivers should take a mandatory eyesight test once they reach the age of 58, a survey carried out by contact lenses retailer Pure Optical found.

The company surveyed 2,800 people to find out what age they think it should be mandatory to take an eyesight test to confirm that drivers are safe to navigate a vehicle.

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And people in Derbyshire said drivers should have their eyesight tested at the age of 58 - seven years before the average retirement age of 65.

While there's currently no requirement for drivers to take eye tests when they reach a certain age, the NHS says that on average eye muscles begin weakening when we hit 45, and that almost all of people will need visual aids by the time they reach 65.

The survey also found that nearly a third of people don't think the eyesight check at the beginning of a driving test is sufficient enough to test a learner's vision. Potential drivers currently only need to be able to read a number plate 20.5 metres away to ensure their eyesight is good enough to drive, but more than half (55 per cent) of respondents were unaware of this. Twenty one percent thought it was ten metres, 16 per cent said 30m, four per cent thought it was 40m and 14 per cent thought it was as far as 50 metres.

A fifth of people who took part in the survey also said they were unaware that it was illegal to drive without glasses if you need them and many said that if there was a problem with their eyesight, they would wait around four months to see an optometrist.

When asked the reasons for not wearing glasses while driving, nearly half of respondents (48 per cent) said it was because they forget to take them with them, with 30 per cent saying it was because they didn't think it was important to wear their glasses while driving. Over one-fifth (21%) said they feel uncomfortable wearing glasses and 1% don’t like the way they look.

Seventy eight per cent of Brits would force their family members to have an eyesight test to ensure they were driving safely on the roads, should they think it necessary.

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More than half (57 per cent) also think that a driver who requires glasses, and who causes an accident whilst not wearing them, should receive the same punishment as a drunk driver. In both instances, the driver is putting lives at risk due to some sort of impairment.

Respondents were also asked if they thought a driver would be covered by insurance if they got into an accident whilst not wearing their prescription glasses – one in ten said they thought insurance would cover the claim. However, the fact that it’s illegal means that driving without your glasses will invalidate your insurance.

The company has created an interactive quiz to help you figure out whether or not your eyesight may need to be tested.

Richard Hawkins of Pure Optical said: "Having your eyes tested regularly is of vital importance to your safety, as well as that of the people around you on the road.

"Make sure that if you pick up any signs of blurriness or double vision, you pay a visit to your optometrist as soon as you can.

"If you’re a forgetful person or just not a fan of old-fashioned spectacles, perhaps a pair of contact lenses would best suit your lifestyle."