Dangers of the twilight zone

Motorhome insurance experts will look at the statistics provided by the RSA Insurance group this week with interest.

With just one week of British Summer Time (BST) behind us, the RSA group are urging drivers to concentrate even harder when driving home from work. Apparently the onset of BST always brings about a rise in road traffic accidents between the hours of 4pm and 6pm. On average this is around 10% and insurers believe the increase is down to drivers struggling with their eyesight in twilight conditions.

The motor insurance industry as a whole has called for more stringent eye tests to be part of the acquisition of a driving licence and this new research will strengthen the call. After all, the car one is driving has to undergo a thorough health check every three years, the driver has to pass a very simple vision test when he first gets his licence and that is it until they reach 70 years of age. The National Health Service (NHS) suggest adults should have regular eye tests every two years as they can also give indications of other health problems besides those connected with vision, but the research found 1 in 5 drivers had not had an eye test within such time frames.

Experts acknowledge that twilight driving puts most strain on our eyes and will affect those with deteriorating eyesight the most as they will struggle to continually adjust to the fading light. Pressure on the eyes will make a driver feel tired, lose concentration and the ability to focus. Motorhome drivers who often drive for long periods when using their vehicle for touring will be familiar with the rigours of driving in twilight and in common with other drivers agree that good eyesight is a must for motorists. The research showed that 92% believed that drivers with poor eyesight constituted a threat to themselves and other drivers, while 75 % thought that the vision test when taking a driving test should be more stringent.

It is certainly true that most insurers believe policy premiums could be brought down if eyesight tests were tightened up simply because there would be fewer accidents, whether the Government will introduce yet more legislation on motoring issues is quite a different story.

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