Fleet operators should implement eyesight tests
Good eyesight is essential to safe driving. While that may seem obvious, some concerning statistics that suggest drivers are taking to the roads without adequate vision. Data released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has shown that between 2012 and 2016 there were almost 50,000 licences either revoked or refused renewal because of the driver's poor eyesight. More recent figures show that 19,644 motorists lost their licence because their eyesight failed to reach the minimum standard. Not only that, but poor vision has been linked to more than 3,000 fatal and serious injuries on the road every year.
Furthermore, in 2014, a study by road safety group Brake found that more than 1.5 million (about 4% of license holders) have never had their eyes tested.
The DfT's 2019 Road Safety Statement said that "the fitness required for driving is not just about good eyesight – manoeuvrability and reaction time are also essential. But good eyesight is important.
Sufficient eyesight training to help in the search for cheap van insurance
If employers in charge of a fleet of vans want to increase their chances of obtaining cheap van insurance, then there are plenty of precautions they can take so that insurers view them as low-risk.
Ensuring all your drivers under your employment have excellent safety records is crucial. To help your drivers avoid suffering serious traffic accidents, you may use methods such as carrying out extra training, testing for drugs and alcohol, or providing incentives for safe driving.
In addition to this, its important to make sure drivers get comprehensive eye examinations. However, currently many employers are not ensuring their employees meet the minimum eyesight requirements. An article published in Fleet News suggests managers do not make sure their employees have adequate eyesight before letting them get behind the wheel. The piece states 42% of businesses do not provide company vision tests while 56% do not keep evidence of an employee's last eyesight assessment.
Fleet operators must ensure their drivers have good levels of vision before letting them take to the roads. If an employee's poor eyesight results in a vehicle collision, this may affect the workplace's productivity, lead to an expensive repair bill, or increase the price of their manager's commercial van insurance.
The road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist has called for the law to be updated so that eye examinations are a mandatory part of the driver's photocard licence renewal process, which happens every 10 years. GEM's road safety officer, Neil Worth, said that making these tests mandatory will "make our roads safer, saving lives, disability and many millions of pounds through the reduction in the number of crashes".
The importance of eyesight tests
According to road safety charity Brake, an individual's eyesight needs to be tested regularly as some people will not realise they have a problem until the quality of their vision has deteriorated by as much as 40%.
Consequently, Brake recommends motorists have their eyesight checked at least once every two years. As well as ensuring they can react to potential hazards in time, a person who has regular eyesight tests could also be informed of any serious changes to their vision – such as cataracts or glaucoma – and take steps to prevent the situation from deteriorating any further.
Despite this, Brake states that every year approximately 12.5 million UK citizens, who are due an eyesight test, do not make an appointment.
Effective eyesight testing
To ensure someone is fit to drive, Directgov's website states they must be able to make out the letters on a new-style number plate from 20 metres away or read an old-style plate from a distance of 20.5 metres.
However, although this method of self-testing may be suitable for individual drivers, Fleet News recommends company owners carry out the following steps:
- Introduce compulsory, adequate eyesight testing for all employees who drive as part of their work. Repeat these assessments every two years and ensure staff members over the age of 50 have their eyes examined on an annual basis;
- Tell staff members, if they notice a change in the quality of their vision, to have an eye test immediately;
- Keep suitable, up-to-date records of an employee's vision tests;
- If an employee requires glasses or contact lenses to carry out work-related tasks safely, they should be provided with vouchers for these items; and
- Ensure employees know the signs and symptoms of eyesight deterioration.
Although implementing appropriate safety measures, such as driver training, may reduce the likelihood of a staff member suffering a traffic accident, these preventative actions will be of little use if they cannot observe potential hazards in time. Therefore, managers should carry out eyesight checks at least every two years to ensure their employees are fit to drive.
Van insurance with iVan
At iVan, obtaining commercial vehicle cover is easy, and by increasing the safety of your workforce by ensuring all employees have their eyesight tested regularly, you'll be taking a step in the right direction towards lowering your premiums. To see how much you could save on the cost of your transit van insurance, or any other type of van cover ideal for fleet operators such as any driver van insurance and fleet insurance, please click get a quote button below.