DRIVING BLIND

Reporter: David Eccleston

On a controlled driving track, advanced driving instructor Ian Luff is going to test something many of us take for granted this is not a story about the dangers of texting and driving nor is it one on the effects of alcohol behind the wheel but this is certainly a story about driving blind.

"Well from what we find a lot of people a lot of trouble reading road signs, making basic decisions because they can't see clearly and effectively." Says Luffy

"Some people just don't realise. the change can be very very slow but over a period of time it builds up and you don't notice the big difference in the vision before you had good eyesight and maybe it's not so good anymore." Says Howard

According to Specsavers research, a staggering one in three drivers struggle with visibility behind the wheel Company Director Howard Singer says

"Two years is the longest you should leave it before you have another eye test again."

Three ordinary Australians will drive with and without glasses and as you're about to see - driving blind can be deadly.

Narelle has been driving for 31 years.

Nick has had a couple of accidents recently and has had his licence for almost twenty years.

And 4 decades of driver for Rick

Right guys our first test is to drive down the road a present speed of 40 kays an hour - 11.11 metres a second. You have to tell me the speed sign that's behind me

First up Narelle without glasses the speed zone says 60. Remember she has to tell us what the sign says as soon as she can see.

"It was blurry and i thought it was 80 and it wasn't until i got on top of it i saw it was 60 -

WITH poor vision we saw a mistake and the difference was just staggering...im just gobsmacked."

Nick wasn't much better - he thought the speed zone was 60..... wrong.

They all passed with glasses on. But here's the thing. One in 4 drivers who are legally required to wear glasses behind the wheel admit to driving without them on. And you'll see in a more realistic environment how deadly that can be travelling at 70 kilometres an hour.

"well i think we're going to have a tragic result these represent pedestrians on the road i think we're going to find with limited vision we're going to have massive problems.

Nick without glasses on.

And with them on

With no glasses Rick cleaned up the cones. The law says you only need to have your eyes tested every time you renew your licence for most that's once every five years.

Mechanical engineer John Cadogan want to see eye tests toughened up...the current system makes a mockery of how serious visibility is behind the wheel.

"I'd like to see visual acuity tests every three years - you might not have to go down to to the motor registry any optometrist can do it as i understand it maybe you just need to get a piece of paper signed by a duly credited person that would be at least part of the way

42 % of drivers concede they struggle to see clearly driving at night. On the same track - same hazards, same speed, would our three do any better. Close shaves for Nic and Ric but it got the better of Narelle.

Eye tests are bulk billed that means you don't pay a cent to have your vision checked.

Contact details

Specsavers - www.specsavers.com.au