5,000 drivers banned because of poor eyesight

We all know that roads are a dangerous place, but recent figures reveal that over 5,000 drivers banned from driving due to poor eyesight in 2011.

The figures were revealed by the Transport Minister Stephen Hammond and show a 10% increase on 2010 figures.

Professional drivers also saw an increase in license revoking due to poor eyesight – 685 in 2011, up from 493 in 2010.

The total percentage of drivers with inadequate eyesight is relatively low when compared with the total number of drivers on the road.

Labour MP Meg Munn estimates that 2,874 casualties and a number of fatalities have resulted from drivers that have inadequate vision.

This problem is likely to get worse as the population ages due to the baby boom of the post-war times.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists estimate that by 2032, 5.8 million people in the UK will be aged over 70 and a further 2 million over 80. This will increase the likelihood of more drivers on our roads with inadequate eyesight for driving.

As well as the obvious safety risks of drivers with poor eyesight, those drivers may also be invalidating their motor insurance. In worst case scenarios drivers could be prosecuted and serve prison sentences for lying about eyesight and having caused road traffic accidents.

Swain & Co.’s personal injury solicitors say that the law currently states that a driver must be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away, whether that is with the help of lenses or not.

Being able to pass an optician’s eye test and having an adequate field of vision is an additional requirement, but this is not easily quantifiable and is up to the driver to inform the DVLA of the outcome in either case.

Only the police can force a ban and let the DVLA know if a driver fails a roadside eye test.

Road traffic accidents can cause serious injuries and affect people’s lives considerably.

Drivers have a duty of care to other road users, and when they fail in this duty by failing to meet criteria to be using a vehicle on the road, and cause an accident, the victims can claim compensation.

If you are injured in a road traffic accident that is not your fault, we offer you free first advice as to whether you can bring a claim for compensation.

We can also act for you for free* on a No Win No Fee basis.

And our contact number is free too – so call us on 0800 0351 999

*subject to entering a No Win No Fee agreement with Swain & Co and complying with its terms