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The long and 'blinding' road – 4 million UK motorists admit to driving illegally

Poor eyesight means 3 in 5 motorists struggle to see properly when driving.

Lacklustre approach to not wearing correct eyewear could potentially increase accidents on UK roads as a result.

There are 37 million cars registered in the UK and 4 million motorists admit to putting road safety in the back seat by not respecting the road in the way we should.

New research by Asda Opticians shows that more than 4 million motorists in the UK admit to driving illegally by not wearing the correct eyewear, which is required of them by law. Despite ‘roadside eye tests’ being introduced in various regions across the UK, many motorists still have a lacklustre approach to driving safely.

Asda optometrist Shailesh and Ben Collins

3 in 5 of those surveyed (60%) admit that they struggle to see properly when driving in general, with this figure rising to 4 in 5 (83%) when looking at younger drivers aged 25-34 years.

A quarter of motorists (24%) admit to squinting when driving and not being able to read road signs clearly with a third (29%) knowing that their lack of correct eyewear causes them to struggle when driving. 24% of drivers admit that they have missed an exit because they didn’t see it.

Former Top Gear ‘Stig’, Ben Collins, says: “Vision is a driver’s greatest asset because driving safely is about avoiding trouble and you can’t manage what you can’t see. Your eyeballs are the most advanced piece of technology riding with you in the car and the easiest to maintain with a check-up every other year.”

15% of UK drivers have had a ‘near-miss’ as a result of not being able to see properly and 12% of drivers have been in an accident caused by their eyesight, including almost half (48%) of 25-34 year-olds,

Many of the motorists surveyed blame adverse weather conditions, such as fog, heavy rain or glare from the sun (52%), when either having an accident or a near miss.

Top blames for near accidents:

1. Adverse weather conditions (fog, rain, sun) (52%)

2. Driving at night (50%)

3. Being tired (39%)

4. Not wearing the correct prescribed eyewear (29%)

Despite being encouraged to visit an optician every two years, 1 in 10 (9%) motorists go longer than this period when it comes to getting their eyes tested. Cost plays a key factor for people not having them tested regularly, with more than 3 million of us not getting our eyes tested every two years like we should be.

Optician Shailesh Varsani says: “We conducted the research to find out how seriously motorists are taking their vision and it’s worrying that many aren’t getting their eyes tested as often as they should be. It’s easy and cost-effective for people to get their eyes tested nowadays and people need to remember that an eye test isn’t just to check eyesight. As well as detecting other vision problems they can also reveal whether you're suffering from a number of serious health conditions including diabetes and brain tumours”.

Most Brits are most likely to be prompted to book an eye test when they receive a letter from their optician (64%), or when they feel that their eyesight has worsened (33%).

For more information on Asda Opticians visit the website.