Road users need to have their vision checked regularly to ensure they’re not putting themselves and others at risk. An eye test only takes a few minutes but could mean the difference between life and death on Ireland’s roads.
Paul Carroll, Specsavers’ director of professional services, said: ‘Our eyesight changes gradually over time, so many drivers may not even be aware that they are taking unnecessary risks every day on our roads.
‘Being perceptive and alert as a driver - especially on today’s busy roads - is essential, so it’s very important to look after your vision. The Association of Optometrists Ireland recommends that you have your eyes checked at least every two years and more often when your optometrist advises. Certain patients, such as diabetics, should have an annual eye examination.’
Research in the UK by Brunel University and Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) has revealed that one in five road users there have not had an eye test in the past two years. The findings also showed that drivers with the minimum legal vision required for driving strayed out of their lane 62% more and could recognise only 77% of the road signs they passed, compared to those with normal vision. If any of these problems sound familiar then it’s time to visit the opticians.
‘No one knows for certain how many people are driving with inadequate vision – but what is certain is that the results can be devastating,’ Paul Carroll continued. ‘Without regular eye examinations, it could be several years before you find that your eyesight is no longer good enough to drive safely.’
He added: ‘We also recommend that you keep a spare pair of glasses in your vehicle, to ensure that you’re never caught out behind the wheel. And, if your eyes get tired – stop. It’s always sensible to take regular breaks when driving long distances.’