Revealed – what's putting millions of Aussie road users at risk

Expert offers tips for drivers

Revealed – what's putting millions of Aussie road users at risk

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

There are many factors that could result in car crashes. Private health insurer Bupa found that “squinting” due to poor eyesight puts millions of Australians at risk on the road.

According to Bupa Optical, the squinting issue affects over four million drivers in Australia. It is further exacerbated at night and can affect people's ability to see road signs, hazards, pedestrians while contributing to drive fatigue, which contributes to about 20% of fatal road accidents.

“Like all parts of the human body, your eyesight can change over time, so the fact that you didn't need glasses to drive when you first got your licence doesn't mean you don't need them now. Squinting might seem innocuous, but it's often caused by the eye attempting to overcome a vision problem,” said Bupa Optical optometrist Karen Makin.

Expert urges Australians to get their eyes tested

Makin urged Australian drivers to get their eyesight checked regularly to ensure their safety.

“Your optometrist will be able to tell you what's happening with your eyes and let you know if a pair of glasses can stop your squinting and increase your chances of staying safe on the road,” she said.

Makin added that drivers required to wear glasses for distance vision should wear the glasses every car journey as part of their road safety checklist.

“Like driving tired or under the influence, getting behind the wheel with impaired eyesight makes you a danger on the road, so don't cut corners and think you'll be ok without your glasses on the odd occasion,” she said. “Many people find keeping a second pair permanently in their car is a great way to ensure they are not caught without their specs. It's all about taking a safety-first approach.”

Last month, Bupa released a report analysing Australians' attitudes towards health and wellbeing, including their top concerns.

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