8% of Brits have eyesight bad enough to fail a driving test

According to a recent research study conducted by a provider of discount car insurance quotes, 8 per cent of drivers have such poor eyesight that they would fail a driving test.

The direct car insurance provider who conducted the survey reported that, these drivers could not read license plates at a distance of 20 metres away, something that is a requirement for passing driving tests. The survey also found that nearly one out of every two drivers reported their eyesight deteriorating since they took their test, with 42 per cent remarking they need to either squint or slow down in order to comprehend road signs.

However, the motor car insurance provider found the most worrying figure to be 28 per cent of respondents would rely on their passengers to read oncoming road signs to them.  Overall, only 43 per cent of those polled reported confidence in being able to pass the driving test’s eyesight section if they had to take it today.

More than 4,000 motorists were banned from driving as a result of failing eyesight in 2009 alone, official figures say.  Even drivers who have a prescription for corrective lenses fail to wear them sometimes, as the survey found that 12 per cent admitted to driving regularly without their aid.

The law states that if drivers are concerned that their eyesight is failing, they must book an eye test immediately.  However, 17 per cent of survey respondents said they wouldn’t do so – and a troubling 45 per cent of them said they would keep getting behind the wheel.

Drivers delay an average of three years between eye exams, although one in ten admitted to waiting as much as a decade since their last eye exam.

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