More than a third of drivers in Surrey admit that they can’t see properly when they drive. That was the finding of research carried out by Sight Care, a support network for independent opticians, revealed this week.

Sight Care said the admission to poor vision behind the wheel applied to well over a third of Surrey drivers questioned.

They called the per centage figure – 36% - “astonishing.”

A quarter also admitted that they couldn’t see well when driving at night, and 11% revealed that their daytime vision was ‘blurry’ when they were in their cars.

The statement from Sight Care said: “In terms of new drivers, 5% of those surveyed admitted that they had actually struggled to see the registration plate during the brief eyesight assessment that was part of their driving test – but were given their driving licence anyway.”

The Surrey survey results, described by Sight Care as “shocking,” have been released as a consortium, led by the road safety charity Brake, is urging the Government to look again at legislation that governs the eyesight testing standards for new drivers.

The consortium is recommending that all new drivers should have their eyesight tested by a qualified optician when they first apply for a licence. Consortium partner and insurance company RSA said their research showed that car crashes caused by poor vision led to nearly 3,000 casualties and cost £33 million every year.

Paul Surridge, the chief executive of Sight Care, said: “The figures speak for themselves. Nearly 3000 people are killed or injured every year in car accidents caused because of poor eyesight. “This is tragic, especially considering how easy it is to book an eye test and get most vision problems sorted out.”

Mr Surridge continued: “Our own survey shows that more than a third of people admit that their vision isn’t good enough when they are driving. “This is pretty shocking when you consider what the consequences could be, so we would urge everyone who feels the same, to get in touch with their local independent optician and get their eyesight tested as soon as possible.”