Keeping our communities, roads and drivers safe with regular eyecare
“Keep your eyes on the road!” is a phrase we typically hear when we start learning how to drive. While we are regularly reminded to stay focused behind the wheel, what about being reminded to take care of our eyes? After all, good vision is key to protecting ourselves and others when we drive. This is one of the reasons GrandVision supports the UN’s Global Road Safety Week, which took place from 17-23 May, 2021.
As we align with the UN’s goal to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2030, we are working to raise awareness about driving safely with good vision, as well as taking care of our eyes.
And at GrandVision, we focus on the impact of our “Presence”—one of the three pillars of our CSR program. It serves as a reminder that we have a responsibility to take care of our communities where we are based (and beyond). While the UN’s Global Road Safety Week takes place in the spring months, we keep this topic top-of-mind year-round.
Learn more about the work some of our retail brands around the world have done to make the roads safer for us all. We take part in many road safety initiatives across GrandVision and chose to share a handful of examples from the last few years, as the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic put plans on this topic on hold because people were asked to stay home as much as possible.
Strategic partnerships and collaborations
Working directly with organizations based in the communities where we are present is a strategic way to raise awareness about worthy causes and strengthen our message.
Each autumn, our Swedish retail brand Synoptik works with Bilprovningen, a Swedish car-inspection company, to raise awareness of responsible driving and the importance of good eyesight in traffic. For four days each year, the retail brand runs a campaign that offers free eye tests in all 140+ Synoptik stores when renewing driver’s licenses. One of these days is reserved for testing drivers’ eyesight at car inspection stations. This collaboration has already been going strong for 12 years.
And in Portugal, our retail brand MultiOpticas teamed up with traffic police in 2018 to arrange a “stop operation” on a Lisbon highway where drivers were invited to safely take roadside eye tests with MultiOpticas opticians. During the process, they were informed about the importance of maintaining good vision and safety on the road.
Eye-catching media campaigns
Getting the word out about eye heath and road safety is essential to making our roads safer. Some of our retail brands have recently run creative media campaigns to raise awareness of eye health and road safety.
For example, in 2019, our French brand Générale d’Optique organized a PR stunt with a comedian to create more buzz around the topic. They worked with the Ministry of Transportation to add a fake eye test as an additional step of the typical car check process for a group of people. The experience was filmed with hidden cameras and showed the people who came to have their car tested (and passed) taking the (comedic) eye test. In order to create more dialog around the topic, Générale d’Optique filmed the stunt in a playful way.
We have seen that PR stunts can get the conversation going, but simple messaging works well, too. On this note, our Italian operating company, GrandVision Italy, organized an awareness event in front of Milan’s famous Piazzi Duomo in 2019. As part of their “Vedi Responsabilmente” (“See Responsibly”) campaign, they reminded passersby about the important of testing their vision annually.
Our retail brands are continuously developing new ways to share our eyecare expertise with the rest of the world.
Apollo Optik, our German retail brand, wanted its customers and the German public to understand the risks of poor sight on the road. They conducted a study that concluded the following:
- About 15% of younger drivers (ages 18-39) often drive extremely long distances (5+ hours) without resting their eyes
- Driving long distances without resting your eyes significantly increases the risk of accidents; If the eye and body do not get a chance to rest and regenerate, responsiveness decreases automatically
As a result of this study, Apollo employees were well-informed to promote to their customers special driver’s glasses that had features including:
- Blue light filters
- Increased contrast and contours
- Intensified color perception
- Reduced glare effects
Our Swiss retail brand, Kochoptik also took an informative approach to raising customer awareness of the link between good vision and road safety. It spotlighted the topic in its seasonal brand magazine, informing readers about the risks of driving in darkness, rain and fog, or how to manage the glare of oncoming vehicle headlights, which affect vision on the road. In addition, the brand offered readers a voucher for a pair of driving glasses. Visitors to the brand website were also reminded to make a vision test appointment if they felt their vision had worsened.
Vision tests for accident prevention
Finally, testing your eyes regularly is key to preventing more accidents on the road. At all of our stores around the world, we are happy to help everyone who actively commutes on the road test their vison and find the corrections they need to travel safely. Whether you are a driver, pedestrian or cyclist, good vision in traffic is key to keeping everybody safe.
There are many ways to raise awareness about the link between road safety and good eyesight. Regardless of the approach our retail brands and operating companies take in their own countries, we are starting a dialog about the topic and keeping it a priority for our customers and the communities where we are present.