By Steve Roberts
Vision correction requirements for commercial vehicle drivers are not being addressed based on a recent survey from the major UK business van insurance retailer, Swinton Commercial. After surveying some 1,200 of their online customers, Swinton found that almost one-fifth of van drivers had not had an eye test for three years or more and warned van drivers and fleet managers to ensure all drivers met the legal minimum eyesight requirement. As well as conventional contact lenses and glasses, short-sighted commercial vehicle drivers can now try a new vision correction treatment - overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses which are only worn while sleeping. After removal in the morning, the wearer has clear natural vision all day long.
The distance requirement for an eyesight test at the beginning of a practical driving test is 20 metres for vehicles displaying the new style licence plate or 20.5 metres for vehicle displaying the old style. Short-sighted drivers, who cannot read a number plate from this distance using contact lenses or glasses if necessary, will not be allowed to take their test. Given Swinton's survey results, there is a high possibility that a number of commercial drivers currently on the road are short-sighted and fall short of the legal eyesight requirement thereby putting themselves and other motorists in danger. Given that an eye test takes no more than 30-45 minutes and can often help to identify other health problems as well as any vision correction need, there is a strong incentive to attend an optician at least every two years as recommended by the profession.
Yet according to the research, the most common reason for not going to an eye test was that "I don't have time" (57%). Phil Moss, Commercial Vehicle Manager at Swinton said: "As van drivers spend a lot of their working day on the road it is really important that their eyesight is tested on a regular basis. Failure to do so could endanger their life and the lives of other road users. It could also result in an unnecessary van insurance claim and points on their licence." A motorist caught driving with uncorrected defective eyesight will risk having conviction code MS70 on their licence, which carries three points thus impacting on their driving record and almost certainly resulting in a higher insurance premium. So there is no excuse for failing to ensure any vision correction need is addressed.
Check if you are suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses .