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General News, Medical Health Aged Care

Glaring danger to winter road safety

June 27, 2024 2 mins read

With the school holidays approaching and many Aussies packing their cars for vacations or day trips, Optometrists are encouraging drivers to stay ‘sun glare smart’ amidst data suggesting road fatalities spiked 28 per cent in April 2024, when the Autumn school holidays took place, compared to April 2023 figures. 


School holidays are a popular time to travel, making roads busier and increasing the risk of accidents. While factors such as speeding and distractions play a major role, international studies suggest crashes increase by 30 per cent during times of high sun glare.


Bupa Optical Optometrist Karen Makin said during winter the sun sits lower in the sky which means more glare in the eyes and exposure to UV rays which are intensified by reflections off wet surfaces after it rains.


“During winter, people are also more likely to be driving during sunrise and sunset where sun glare can impair your vision and increase your chance of having an accident.”


“This makes having a good quality pair of UV protective sunglasses that comply with Australian standards available when you are on the road so very important. Throughout the colder months, you may not need them all the time, but sun glare conditions can change rapidly,” Karen said.


Along with drivers, Australians seeking warmer weather in northern parts of Australia or overseas are also urged to ensure sunglasses are part of their packing list rather than resorting to purchasing them at their final destination.


“It’s important to remember that while good quality sunglasses are available from chemists and department stores locally and internationally, don’t automatically assume they comply with Australian Standards. Many sunglasses bought online or from convenience stores are just simpler, cheaper ‘fast fashion frames’ that provide minimal protection.


“For those requiring a prescription, optical stores are the only place to purchase sunglasses that meet their day-to-day vision requirements which is why a pre-holiday eye test is always a good idea if you haven’t had one in a while,” Karen said.


Eye tests can be done in around 30 minutes, are usually bulk-billed for Medicare card holders and are recommended every 2 years for people under 65 and annually for those older than 65 or as recommended by your optometrist or medical professional.


To book an eye test at your local Bupa Optical store, visit here.



For more information, please contact:
Eli Grynberg                                         
External Communications Manager, Bupa                        

Mob: 0401 135 713



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