Nearly a Fifth of Glasses-Wearing Drivers are Overdue an Eyetest – Venson Survey Reveals Cost-of-living Pressures Could Be to Blame

Fleet operators are being encouraged to ensure their drivers meet the required standards of vision for driving, as a survey[1] by Venson Automotive Solutions reveals that nearly a fifth of motorists (18%) who already need glasses for driving have not had their eyes tested for three years or more, and the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis could be to blame.

Leaving more than two years between eye tests can put drivers at risk of being unsafe on the road as vision and general eye health can deteriorate.  Yet, of those glasses-wearing motorists who haven’t had a recent eye test, 39% say that they either couldn’t afford the cost of an eye test, don’t have time to prioritise it or are afraid that they won’t be able to afford glasses if prescribed them by an optician.  Meanwhile 25% of drivers who wear glasses admit that while they could read a number plate from 20 metres away, the Government’s minimum standard of vision for driving, it would be with some difficulty.

It is not only drivers who rely on glasses who should get regular eye checks, however, and well over a third (39%) of motorists who currently don’t wear glasses have not had their eyes tested for over three years.  The majority of these (40%) say they believe their eyesight already meets the Government’s required standards of vision for driving, but almost a third said that time pressures, or the cost of an eye test or prescription glasses was putting them off visiting the opticians.

Businesses and fleet operators have a duty of care to ensure their drivers are safe on the road, including meeting the required standards for driving.  So, it was worrying to see that only half of motorists asked were aware that an employer must provide and pay for an eyesight test for employees who use Display Screen Equipment.

Alison Bell, Operations Director at Venson Automotive Solutions comments, “It is reassuring that the majority of responsible drivers are going for regular eye examinations. This still leaves some who are putting themselves and other road users at risk by missing eye tests.  It’s concerning that the pressures of the current economic climate might be the reason why.

“In today’s workplaces a lot of people use display screen equipment, like laptops and touchscreens, yet our research suggests that many employees aren’t aware that they can claim the cost of an eyesight test back from their employer.  If a fleet driver is found to be unable to meet the required standards of vision the company could be liable as well as the driver, and the driver may not be able to continue driving.

“As we move into winter where the days are shorter, sun is low, and foggy or wet weather can make vision even harder, now is a great time for businesses to raise awareness of the need for regular eye tests and to promote the availability of free eyesight tests for employees who use display screen equipment.”

Venson Automotive Solutions Survey Results:

Government guidelines recommend that you should get an eyesight test every two years, but when did you last get your eyes tested?

  Glasses wearers by percent Non-glasses wearers by percent
Within the last 2 years 81 45
Over three years ago 10 15
Over four years ago 6 6
Over five years ago 3 18
I can’t remember 0 116

[1] An independent survey of 300 consumers conducted by insights service Maru/Hub in November 2022