Are you fit to be behind the wheel?

Music playing, kids shouting, eating, drinking and in some cases even smoking.

No, I am not talking about a rowdy Christmas party round at your neighbour's house but what’s happening in cars across the country that are out on the road right now. 

Cars that could be heading straight for you. 

This week (Nov 21st to 27th) is road safety week and it’s about time more of us started taking our responsibilities behind the wheel more seriously. 

Research from Brake, the national road safety charity, shows that an estimated 1.24 million people die every year on the world’s roads. 

At first glance figures like that seem staggering but let’s face it, many of us would have to admit that we’ve got distracted behind the wheel. 

Whether it’s trying to change the radio station, not noticing the red light you’re about to sail through, not bothering with a seatbelt because it’s ‘only down the road’ or chancing a speeding ticket because today you’re ‘really running late’, we’ve all done it. 

And that’s the problem, getting behind the wheel is something many of us do so often we simply stop thinking about it.

We forget its deadly consequences that have left too many families facing this Christmas without someone they love.

We think it won’t happen to us, until it does. 

I work for the Beacon Centre, a sight loss charity, and during road safety week as well as thinking about what you’re doing once you are in a car, we want you to think about yourself and whether you are fit to be behind the wheel.

Thankfully everyone knows the drink and drug message when it comes to driving but have you ever thought about your eyesight?

Brake says that crashes involving drivers with poor vision are estimated to cause up to 2,900 casualties and cost £33 million in the UK each year.

But poor vision is believed to be massively underreported in government data due to the difficulty in determining if eyesight was to blame. 

What is most worrying is that untreated eye conditions can occur gradually over time.

In extreme cases, someone can lose up to 40 per cent of their vision without being aware they have a problem.

Anyone of us could have those sorts of problems and do you really want to risk getting in a car that could be carrying your loved ones?

We don’t use a car that hasn’t had its MOT so why are you as a driver any different?

Eye tests save lives it is as simple as that. 

So please, if you do anything this week, get an eye test, and make sure you are keeping your family, and others, safe out on the roads.

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