Eye tests save lives
It is estimated that nearly 3,000 casualties on UK roads each year are caused directly by drivers with poor sight, with one in four motorists risking their license by not having a regular eye test. To tackle the problem, GrandVision’s UK business, Vision Express, has partnered with national road safety charity, Brake, to raise awareness of driver eye health. Brake’s goal is to improve safety on UK roads, working with communities and organizations to make the streets safer for all.
"Shockingly, on average five people are killed on UK roads each day, in largely preventable crashes. We hope by combining our efforts with Vision Express we can make drivers consider their vision and general health before getting behind the wheel." says Jason Wakeford, spokesperson for Brake.
Together, Vision Express and Brake delivered the successful 'Eye Tests Save Lives' campaign, which raises awareness of the dangers of driving with impaired vision. In 2017, as part of the initiative, Vision Express visited ‘Welcome Break’ service stations on busy motorways across the UK, offering drivers free eye test vouchers, eye screenings and advice on being road-safe. Eye test enquiries and online bookings at Vision Express increased by 82% during the duration of the campaign, when compared to the same period in 2016. Media coverage of driver case studies and regionally statistic-driven materials reached over 10 million people.
The real breakthrough came at the end of 2017, following events hosted by Vision Express during Road Safety Week (20-26 November 2017). Over 50 members of the UK and Scottish Parliaments attended briefings, with a driving simulator demonstrating to parliamentarians how conditions such as glaucoma – one of the biggest causes of preventable vision loss in the world – can gradually reduce up to 40% of sight without it being noticed.
As a direct result of the lobbying campaign by Vision Express, the Government announced its plan to work with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to include an eye test reminder when motorists renew their photo card driving license. Jonathan Lawson, Vision Express CEO, said: “This is a huge coup for our ‘Eye Tests Save Lives’ campaign and rewards our efforts over the past two years, calling for more awareness among drivers of how dangerous it is to get behind the wheel without having a regular eye test.”