Free eye tests offered during Macular Week 2018 raised awareness of the importance of maintaining good driver eye health
As part of its Eye Tests Save Lives campaign, which highlights the importance of having regular eye tests to keep Britain’s roads safe, Vision Express took its Vision Van to this year’s Truckfest in Malvern – where a worrying 90% of its visitors were found to be driving with outdated prescriptions, potentially putting themselves and other motorists at risk.
Vision Express targeted commercial vehicle drivers at Europe’s largest trucking event, Truckfest. Held at the three Counties Showground, Worcestershire on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July, the national optical retailer gave free eye tests from its Vision Van
The initiative, which was part of Vision Express’ week-long Macular Week (25 June – 1 July) tour to raise awareness of the sightstealing condition, macular degeneration, revealed almost 90% of those who took advantage of the offer were overdue an eye test, with 13% revealing they had never had the essential health check. One in 10 admitted they had not had an eye examination since passing their driving test and 90% required a new prescription. The optometrist on-board the van raised serious concerns for one visitor who was referred to their local GP for further testing.
48-year-old Darren Tate, a driver, was one of those to confess he had never had his vision checked. “I’d recommend that everyone gets their eyes tested,” he said. “I hadn’t had an eye test before and I didn’t realise how simple it was. Before today, I hadn’t heard of macular degeneration and I had no idea an eye test could detect something as serious as that.”
Another visitor, Paul Gratton, 41, who travelled to Truckfest from Stoke-on-Trent, said: “I hadn’t had an eye test in three years and I know you’re supposed to have them every two. The Vision Van is great because it’s so convenient.”
Vision Express offers free eye tests at Truckfest Malvern during Macular Week 2018
Representatives from the Macular Society, Vision Express’ charity partner, joined the Vision Van team at Truckfest to help the national optician put the spotlight on macular degeneration – the most common form of sight loss in the UK.
Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson said: “It’s a huge concern that 90% of visitors to our Vision Van at Truckfest were found to be driving without the correct prescription – especially as statistics indicate that around 3,000 road casualties every year are due to people driving with below par vision.
“Road safety campaigning is a priority for us and our aim is to encourage drivers to consider if their sight is up to scratch before they get behind the wheel. With 13% of those tested on the Vision Van confessing to have never had a sight test, there is a clear need to educate drivers about the importance of regular eye examinations, which can help detect sightstealing conditions such as macular disease, as well as other health conditions. The very best way to safeguard your vision, your eye health and your licence is to get yourself to an optician.”
Richard Burnett, RHA chief executive, added: “For most people, driving plays a vital part in their daily life and while good eyesight is vital for any road user, for an HGV driver, their livelihood depends on it. As soon as a driver gets in the cab, they’re at work. But there are still far too many drivers who ignore any weakness in their vision and it was staggering to learn that 90% of visitors to the Vision Van were found to be overdue an eye test. Everyone needs to do their bit to make our roads safer and we are pleased that by working with Vision Express, we can play a part in making a difference.”
About Vision Express
Vision Express is one of the largest optical retailers in the UK and part of GrandVision, the global leader in optical retail operating in more than 40 countries, spanning over 6,500 stores and online.
With almost 600 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.
With around 6,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charity Project and include:
- Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
- International Glaucoma Association
- Macular Society
- Stroke Association
- Temple Street University Hospital