Over 2,000 UK driving test candidates failed exams due to poor eyesight in the last 5 years, study reveals

Eyeglasses with eye test table on white, optometrist concept and eye test

According to a recent study that analysed the most recent DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) statistics, many people have failed their driving test in the last five years before even getting behind the wheel because of a certain health issue.

The physical driving test is intended to test a student driver’s ability to drive a vehicle confidently and safely in a variety of traffic and road situations.

However, before getting in the car an examiner tests the examinee on their ability to read the number plate of a stationary car parked 20 metres away.

The examiner will immediately fail the pupil if he/she fails to read it correctly after three attempts and their licence will be revoked by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).

How many people have failed their driving test due to poor eyesight?

2,190 candidates have failed their driving tests at this point over the last five years due to poor eyesight, according to ana;ysis from the learner driver insurance company Veygo.

At £62 per driving test, Veygo estimated that nearly £136,000 had been wasted overall before the cars exited the test centre.

The number of people who failed due to poor vision peaked in 2018 with 572 failures, and then dropped to 541 in 2019.

The figures for 2020 and 2021 were slightly lower at 280 and 339, respectively, as fewer tests happened overall due to the Covid pandemic.

The figures for 2022, however, indicated a significant increase to almost pre-pandemic levels, with 486 people failing tests because of poor vision.

The number of men with immediate failures was also higher than women over the five years, with 1,311 compared to 879.

James Armstrong, CEO of Veygo, commented: “It’s interesting to see how many people fail their driving test yearly due to poor eyesight.

“Struggling to see the road clearly can be extremely dangerous to you and other road users and could have disastrous results.

“If you’re learning to drive and suspect you have problems with your vision, visit an optician for an eye test before taking further lessons or booking your practical driving exam.

“While you don’t need to inform the DVLA if you are long or short-sighted or colour blind, wear prescribed glasses or contact lenses while driving to satisfy the standards for vision.

“For those that have passed, failing to wear the correct eyewear to drive could also invalidate your insurance policy, meaning you could be out of pocket should you need to make a claim.

“So, get your eyes tested at least every two years to avoid costly mistakes.”

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