Being out on the roads can be dangerous at the best of times, with 1.3 million fatal road accidents a year globally.
However, the danger can be amplified by poor eyesight, especially if you’re not taking the correct steps to protect yourself and others.
Billions of people around the world require glasses to see properly and that number will be even higher when we consider the people whose vision isn’t the best but have yet to be prescribed glasses or contact lenses.
But, where are the worst places in the UK for those driving with poor eyesight?
As well as being the worst area for drivers with poor eyesight overall, the Isle of Anglesey also had the highest rate of accidents caused due to issues with vision, at 4.88%, which perhaps isn’t too surprising given that the area has a relatively old population compared to the rest of the country.
Older people are more likely to have issues with their sight and Dorset has a median age of 51.4, amongst the highest in the country, which could be a reason it has the highest number of people suffering with some form of sight loss, at 486 per 10,000 people.
Even if you’re sure to wear the correctly prescribed glasses or contact lenses, you still have to be wary of other drivers on the road, especially if you live in an area with a high rate of accidents. Westminster has the highest level of accidents, with 38.4 per 100,000 people, and is one of the busiest areas in the country, located in the heart of London.
More vehicles on the road naturally means that you’re more likely to be involved in a collision, and the area that has the highest level of vehicle ownership is Slough, in Berkshire, with a rate of 16,603 per 10,000 people.
If you’re used to driving without glasses, then you might not quite realise how much of a difference they can make to your vision when driving.
Below we’ve created some interactive sliders to show just how badly vision impairment can impact drivers and how dangerous it could be to drive with uncorrected vision, especially if you don’t even realise that you have some degree of sight loss.
Image showing double vision
Accidents caused by poor eyesight
The percentage of accidents where a police officer attended the scene that listed “uncorrected, defective eyesight” as a contributing factor in 2020 according to the Department for Transport’s reported road accidents, vehicles and casualties tables for Great Britain (RAS50016). Note that accidents can have multiple contributing factors.
People living with sight loss
The number of people per 10,000 that are living with any form of sight loss in 2021 according to the RNIB’s Sight Loss Data Tool.
The number of reported accidents per 10,000 people in 2020 according to the Department for Transport’s reported road accidents, vehicles and casualties tables for Great Britain (RAS10014).
The number of licensed vehicles per 10,000 people at the end of 2020 according to the Department for Transport’s vehicle licensing statistics (VEH0105). Note that these include vehicles registered to companies.