Rising cost of glasses results in motorists driving with blurred vision

Updated: 
Autobahn, Germany.
Clynt Garnham Transportation / Alamy

Drivers are putting lives at risk every time they hit the road by not wearing the right glasses, with more than a third of motorists admitting to driving with blurred vision.

Research released by Asda Opticians, in conjunction with road safety charity Brake, has discovered 35 per cent of UK motorists regularly drive with blurred eyesight, while more than 52 per cent confess to wearing the wrong prescription.

The survey of more than 2,000 Brits found that approximately half of UK drivers say they regularly experience strained vision, headaches and problems with focusing when behind the wheel. However, when asked why they run the dangerous risk on a daily basis, the answer often referred back to cost, with 45 per cent of those surveyed saying they couldn't afford to purchase the right prescription.

An estimated 3,000 casualties on UK roads are caused by poor driver vision, costing the government in excess of £33m. Staggeringly, only one in 10 surveyed admitted they ensure they're wearing the right specs before starting the engine, with nearly a quarter (21 per cent) of the over 55s admitting to wearing the wrong pair of glasses when driving.

According to the data women appear to be the more conscientious drivers, with 65 per cent saying they would "never" wear the wrong prescription when driving for safety reasons, compared to just 45 per cent of men.

Cost continues to be the main driving force behind the UK's poor driver vision crisis as 63 per cent of drivers claim they pay far too much for their glasses, with exactly half believing that those requiring a more complicated prescription should not be penalised on cost.

Linsey Taylor, category director of optical healthcare at Asda, said: "The results of the study are worrying both for motorists and pedestrians, alike. What's even more concerning, however, is that the reason motorists are putting themselves and others in danger is purely and simply down to cost."

Mike Bristow of Brake added: "Eyesight can deteriorate rapidly and it is possible to lose 40 per cent of your vision without noticing the difference. Driving is one of the most dangerous tasks most of us do on a regular basis, so it is vital that drivers make sure their vision is up to scratch by getting their eyes tested at least every two years and wearing the correct lenses every time they drive."