By: 22 April 2016
Millions of motorists driving with increased risk of accidents due to bad eyesight says Direct Line

New research from Direct Line Car Insurance has found that 21 per cent of motorists who need glasses or contact lenses always drive without them.

According to the insurer, motorists who drive without eyewear despite being told to do so increase their risk of an accident four-fold. It has discovered that one in six (16 per cent) drivers have had an accident in the past two years but this increases to 67 per cent for those who need glasses or contacts but don’t always wear them.

More than a third (37 per cent) of motorists say that they haven’t had a vision test in the past two years or more, despite good eyesight being a basic requirement of safe driving. Direct Line says that men are more likely to not wear their glasses or contacts when driving (40 per cent) along with those aged 18 to 34 (60 per cent).

The Direct Line study also highlights that it’s the short journeys to the doctors or supermarket where motorists are taking the most risks by driving with bad eyesight.

Within the last year, 26 per cent of motorists have driven to somewhere local without their glasses or contact lenses, compared to 15 per cent who didn’t wear them on a journey stretching over 50 miles.

Gus Park, director of motor at Direct Line said that having good eyesight is a basic requirement of safe driving.

“Given that a person’s eyesight can change a significant amount in as little as six months or a year, we recommend motorists have their eyes tested at least every two years to make sure they remain safe on the road and reduce the risk of road accidents,” he said.

According to the most recent government data, 260 accidents in 2014 were caused by uncorrected, defective eyesight – nine of which were fatal accidents and 56 of which were serious.