During Glaucoma Awareness Week, Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, is supporting calls to improve awareness among Welsh drivers about the importance of having an up-to-date eye test before getting behind the wheel.
It is estimated that crashes involving a driver with poor vision cause 2,900 casualties each year.
At an event in the Senedd, Rebecca Evans AM discussed eye health with Vision Express, and tested a driving simulator which replicates the experience of driving with glaucoma.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “The simulator was a real eye-opener in terms of the impact that poor vision can have on driving.
“It’s absolutely right that, to-date, efforts to improve road safety have focussed on speeding, drug and drink driving, driver fatigue and mobile phone use. However, there now needs to be a focus on promoting good eye health.”
Glaucoma is one of the biggest causes of preventable sight loss in the UK – it accounts for over one million outpatient NHS visits across the UK each year. The condition is symptomless in its early stages, and a regular eye test is the only way to detect it. Over 90% of people diagnosed early will retain some useful sight but late diagnosis can result in total blindness.
There are an estimated 19,000 people with glaucoma who could be driving without realising the danger they pose to themselves and others.