Raising awareness of eye health among German drivers
Do drivers actually see as well as they think they do? To answer this question, GrandVision’s German business, Apollo, together with the market research institute Kantar TNS, conducted a representative study in the summer of 2016. More than 2,200 car and truck drivers took part and underwent eye tests. The data was gathered either in person or through phone interviews, while the eye tests took place in an equipped American school bus at German motorway service stations and in Apollo’s branches.
Many overestimate their visual performance
Results revealed that three-quarters of all participants have the wrong idea about their visual strength, while almost 60% overestimate it. The latter group usually had their last eye test more than six years ago. What is particularly striking is that opponents of compulsory eye tests usually overestimate their seeing ability.
Seeing in the dark: a common problem
Almost half of the German population admits that they cannot see as good in the dark as they do in daylight. Female drivers in particular feel more insecure about it. In addition, if a person is of advanced age and/or their last eye test took place long time ago, their ability to see in the dark is notably lower.
Regular eye tests for drivers
According to research by the German Ophthalmologists Association, approximately 300,000 traffic accidents per year are due to drivers’ poor eyesight. In their joint market research, people were asked whether regular eye tests should be compulsory for German drivers after a certain age, and approximately 80% of the respondents supported the idea. In addition, half of them thought that regular eye tests should be compulsory for drivers between the ages of 40 and 60. But consent for the idea lowered as age increased – most probably because elderly people are afraid of losing their driving license due to bad results.
“In our study, we were able to demonstrate that the majority of German car drivers incorrectly estimate their eyesight. The assessment of one´s own eyesight is particularly difficult if the last eye test was carried out a long time ago. Raising awareness of this topic is important – because only those who know how well they can see, or who are wearing an appropriate visual aid, can drive safely in traffic. By offering a free and non-binding eye test, Apollo contributes to reducing the risk of an incorrect assessment of one´s own eyesight and in particular, the dangerous overestimation.” – Lisa Masemann, Consultant, Kantar TNS.
The results of the study in Germany support the experts’ recommendation that drivers should regularly check their eyesight. Regular eye tests would increase safety on German streets – not only for the drivers themselves, but also for fellow road users. Therefore, Apollo offers a free eye test in all of its 800+ stores, and supports initiatives that regular eye tests should become compulsory for drivers.