Driving dangers this bank holiday: Experts warn of potential hazards on the roads

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(Last Updated On: May 26, 2021)

With many more vehicles on South Devon’s roads this bank holiday weekend, Specsavers is sharing expert advice so that drivers stay safe.

On average, five people die on the UK’s roads every day and countless more are seriously injured, with drivers’ eyesight often playing a contributory factor. Research shows that poor vision increases a driver’s risk of crashing because it limits their ability to recognise hazards and impacts reaction time, with more than 90% of a driver’s decisions depending on having good vision. In fact, the same study even found that risk of car crash increases by 9% with visual impairment.

Giles Edmonds, Specsavers clinical services director, says: ‘Having good eyesight is one of the most basic requirements of safe driving. It means South Devon drivers will be able to spot potential dangers, see pedestrians and other vehicles, read road signs and judge speed, distance and movement. Without this, there can be catastrophic consequences on the road – and even more so when changes to weather make driving conditions precarious.

‘While we want to encourage all drivers to have an up-to-date eye test to ensure that they can see clearly on the road, for those who do wear glasses, it is also important to ensure that their lenses are suitable for driving too.’

Five tips for specs-wearing drivers:

1. Reduce the glare: Polarised lenses are a good option for driving in daylight as they eliminate glare from horizontal surfaces, such as roads, water and snow. They also offer 100% UV protection, improve contrast and help ease the strain on your eyes, so they are particularly good for driving in bright conditions. Polarising lenses can sometimes affect the viewing of LCD displays though, so that’s something to bear in mind when wearing them.

2. Judge distances better: Specsavers SuperDrive varifocal lenses have been specially designed with driving in mind. These lenses have a super wide distance and middle-distance zone, to help give you a wide view of what is ahead as well as dashboard and wing mirrors.

3. Astigmatism: If you have an astigmatism, night driving can be especially difficult as the pupil dilates to let in more light, which can lead to vision looking even more blurred. Many people with astigmatism also have trouble with light reflections from cars and streetlamps, which can cause them to squint, making it even more difficult to concentrate on the road. While anti-glare lenses and other lens options in spectacles can help, for contact lens wearers with sizable astigmatism it is important to correct that by wearing toric contact lenses.

4. Clearer, cleaner lenses: Specs wearers may benefit from having their lenses coated with Specsavers UltraClear SuperClean – an anti-reflection and scratch-resistant treatment. It also has the added benefits of being water-repellent, smudge-resistant and anti-static. This means that lenses have less reflections and reduces dazzle caused by headlights and streetlamps, attract less dust, stay cleaner for longer and are easier to clean, which helps give clarity while driving day or night.

5. Don’t forget your glasses: For those with prescription specs, the safest option is always to make sure there are always a pair of glasses handy for any upcoming car journey. A previous study found that 16 per cent of drivers experienced an accident in the two years prior, but this figure sky-rocketed to 67 per cent for those who opt not to wear their spectacles. It is recommended to always keep a spare pair of glasses in the car to eliminate any possibility of driving without the correct protection.

Make sure to discuss any difficulties with your optician so that they can ensure you have the right lenses to suit your needs and lifestyle. For more information on safe driving visit https://www.specsavers.co.uk/glasses/glasses-lenses/anti-glare-driving-glasses-road-safety or https://www.specsavers.co.uk/glasses/lenses-for-lifestyle for information in different lens options.

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Team account for We Are South Devon.