Compulsory eye tests are essential for all motorists, according to Norwich Union, which says four out of five drivers surveyed think that all road users should be made to have their eyes tested.

One-third of motorists think perfect vision is the most important element of safe driving while one motorist in ten who has been involved in an accident said not wearing contact lenses or glasses may have been a contributing factor.

Norwich Union Direct has backed the research findings by offering to fund eye tests for its motor policyholders. They can reclaim the costs of a £17.50 eye test so long as they have it through any branch of Dolland & Aitchison opticians.

"At the moment it's hit and miss whether a driver's eyesight is good enough to cope with everyday hazards on the road," said Norwich Union Direct's Brian Richards.