Action must be taken to improve awareness among drivers about having an up-to-date eye test before getting behind the wheel – South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies has said.
Yesterday – Mr Davies met with Vision Express optometrist Deepali Modha – and took the opportunity to test their driving simulator.
With National Glaucoma Awareness Week taking place from 4th-10th June - the simulator replicates the experience of driving with the condition.
It is estimated that crashes involving a driver with poor vision cause 2,900 casualties each year – while research suggests 15% of drivers have not had an eye test since they passed their driving test.
As many as 38,000 people in Wales are thought to be suffering from glaucoma – half of which is undiagnosed.
Mr Davies said, “Using the driving simulator allowed me to realise the dangers driving with impaired vision can bring – and I’m grateful to Vision Express for giving me the opportunity.
“Many people don’t realise that changes in sight can be gradual – and many patients suffering from glaucoma can lose up to 40% of vision before they even notice.
“It’s clear there needs to be a focus on promoting good eye health. You wouldn’t get behind the wheel without an up-to-date MOT – so why would you put lives at risk by driving with defective eyesight?”
[Picture: South Wales Central Andrew RT Davies tests the Vision Express driving simulator with optometrist Deepali Modha]