By Alexa Kaczka
All cyclists are aware of the dangers of hitting the road on two wheels, which is why proficiency tests are put in place and there is a wealth of safety equipment available.
However, one thing they cannot account for is drivers who are not paying attention or – in some cases- motorists with poor eyesight.
One such cyclist fell victim to the latter two years ago, when she was hit by a driver with failing eyesight and left with life-changing injuries.
Christine Glennon from High Wycombe received severe spinal injuries in a collision with a car in Shoemoor Lane in Frieth, near Marlow, Buckinghamshire, which led to a two-year battle for compensation, the Bucks Free Press reports.
A subsequent investigation found that the 89-year-old driver who hit Ms Glennon had inadequate eyesight to be on the road.
A test of her vision found that she could only read a number plate at a distance of 4.87m, which is less than a quarter of the 20 metres required by law.
"My life changed dramatically after the collision and I strongly feel eye tests should be implemented for older drivers. If these eye tests were compulsory perhaps horrible accidents like this could be avoided in the future," she explained.
Ms Glennon explained how she was a member of the national cyclists organisation CTC and, as such, its solicitors Russell Jones & Walker represented her after the accident and managed to settle for £1 million in compensation within two years of the incident occurring.
Roger Geffen, campaigns and policy director for CTC, told the newspaper that the incident was a "horrific collision", and noted that it shows the importance of more regular testing of people's fitness to drive, namely their vision.
"No doubt the 89-year-old driver in this case is devastated by what he has done. However, by driving with defective eyesight he was putting other people's lives and limbs at risk and Mrs Glennon has paid a terrible price for his actions," he added.
by Adrian Galbreth