Seeing is as important for accident-free driving as the perfect technical condition of a car. If a pedestrian is overlooked and the brakes are too late due to lack of vision, the consequences can be dramatic. According to the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt, 2017), almost every ninth traffic accident can be traced back to poor vision. A number of glass manufacturers offer lenses specifically for driving: a good tool for raising the awareness of motorists and an approach to the sale of multi-eyewear for the optician.
Problem of many drivers: glare from headlights
Glare and vision problems at night are the most common malfunctions that motorists find fault with. This is confirmed by a Europe-wide study carried out by market research Elke Dobisch (Munich, see chart 1) on behalf of Hoya Lens.
Special lenses for motorists should help - and support opticians in the sale of glasses.
Campaigns such as the light test campaign "Freie Fahrt für gute Licht" launched by the Central Association of German Motor Trades (ZDK) every year in October draw attention to the dangers that bad visibility brings, especially in the dark season. It even offers a free check of the vehicle lighting. So that the driver's view is also checked, the Central Association for Optometrists and Optometrists (ZVA), as a partner of the ZDK, calls for an annual eye-testing campaign in order to identify defective eyesight or to check existing correction values.
Germany is a motorist country
According to a representative forsa survey ("Car Everyday Life", 2017) on behalf of CosmosDirekt insurance, motorists are quite willing to take regular eye checks - at least theoretically. 83 percent of German motorists under the age of 65 would therefore agree to be checked regularly from the age of 65 on their ability to react and concentrate, their ability to see and their hearing. For respondents aged 60 and over, according to the survey, it is still 75 percent. In practice it looks different. Only five percent of drivers over the age of 60 regularly completed a fitness test.
For many motorists, the topic of eye testing is done with the check before driving license acquisition, especially the non-wearer can rarely or rarely test their eyes. The ZVA has long been calling for the introduction of a regular, compulsory and age-independent retesting test for all license holders. In 18 EU states there is already an obligation to have an eye test of varying severity.
Also glass manufacturers are majority in favor of the need for repeat testing at the request of eyebizz. Michael Okos, Director Marketing and Product Manager of NIKA Optics: "We have always pursued this theme and it should become mandatory to increase safety for all road users." Ulrike Braig, Head of Product Management at Stratemeyer, adds: "We speak clear for repeat tests. Studies show that vision changes enormously in old age. At the beginning of last year, the Allensbach eyewear study showed again that 45 percent of the surveyed drivers without glasses between 40 and 59 years had their last eye test more than six years ago. "
Whether the policy reacts in the foreseeable future is more than uncertain. Accordingly pessimistic is Heiko Giloj, sales director of Seiko: "Germany is motoring country. The lobby of the car companies is very strong, we are currently experiencing the diesel scandal. The parties are reluctant to touch on the subject of a repeat sex test because they do not want to lose voters. We see the chances as low. Especially in an increasingly older society. "
Danger of dazzle: blind flight up to two seconds
In order to improve the vision when driving with glasses and to minimize disturbing glare effects by headlights and signal lights such as traffic lights and taillights or by wet roads, more and more manufacturers offer lenses specifically for driving. They are called "Road", "DriveSafe", "Streetlife", "EyeDrive", "StreetHorizon Eye", "EnRoute", "RoadSafe" or hang a "drive" on the brand name - catchy names, the same to the purpose of the glass.
The market research study commissioned by Hoya from the beginning of the year on motorists in Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom shows clearly how disruptive these disturbances are. Zeiss also submitted results of an online survey in 2015. Investigations on the dazzling effect, for example, make it clear that in addition to glaring signal lights, especially the new generation of car headlights causes problems: they do not damage the eye, but they dazzle road users so that they no longer see anything. Bernhard Lachenmayr, spokesman for the traffic commission of the Professional Association of Ophthalmologists in Germany and the German Ophthalmological Society, assumes a "blind flight" of one second for 30- to 40-year-olds, and even two seconds for 60- to 70-year-olds.
But: Some eyeglass wearers, who already uses these glasses, also reports that the problems - such as when driving at night - are not completely eliminated. Johannes Hoffmann from the board of Deutsche Augenoptik AG makes it clear: "Spectacle lenses alone are not enough. Only a good measurement provides clarity on the amount of twilight myopia, it can vary significantly. "
Maik Hartung, Head of Marketing at Carl Zeiss Vision, sees it this way: "One driver feels more blinded than the other, and some do not. Car driver glasses are not useful for everyone, but for the vast majority of motorists. Therefore, we always recommend that you have the optician test your eyesight in the dark. "
Sarah Thoma, PR Manager at Rodenstock: "The reason is that many motorbike glasses with blue-reflective antireflective coating on the market are offered, which are more suitable for other applications, such as computer work.
Specifically, this anti-reflection often leads to reflections that are perceived as disturbing, especially when driving at night. "
Now the optician is in demand
Similar to the computer goggles , the wearer of the glasses should receive an added benefit with the car-driving lenses - a great opportunity for the optician to highlight his competence and to offer glasses for special viewing requirements in addition to the everyday glasses . How can the optician best address this issue and bring it to the attention of his customers? Actually, in view of the many motorists in this country a template for the Seexperten:
Quick can determine yourself if the customer is automotive and continue to advise him or address with appropriate marketing campaigns.
The glass manufacturers provide a wide range of advertising material: information brochures, window displays, giveaways, advertising templates for online and offline etc. For example, Rupp + Hubrach also offers a microsite for eyeglass lenses online and an explanatory video on Youtube. In addition, there is a complete sales training in a series of short videos on the subject of multi-eyeglass sales. Even individual marketing measures are possible. Some glass companies compete for the launch of the new product with special price promotions.
Multi-eyewear sale for opticians: Enormous potential for motorist glasses
The optician benefits from wide-reaching TV and online campaigns of one or the other glass company, such as Essilor with its "multi-screen TV campaign and 3,000 Varilux TV commercials throughout the country, as well as online Facebook and Google Adwords 830 million consumer contacts, "said sales marketing manager Tobias Kaiser of Essilor. Back in the fall of last year, Rodenstock had even driven a 360-degree communication campaign (its largest ever to date) to its driver's glass on all possible channels (PoS materials, mailings, online marketing, radio and TV commercials, even a co-operation with a car service station was thereby) and thus reached according to own data several millions final consumers.
Great potential in the coming years
Although the vendors also certify their suitability for everyday driving, they are mainly designed for this particular application and are intended for second or third goggles - both in the single-vision and progressive versions. For pricing - Sarah Thoma PR Manager at Rodenstock: "The driver's glasses are priced similarly positioned as progressive lenses in the respective category." For some providers, there are additional offers for the additional glasses for these glasses.
The sales share of the driver's glasses made the manufacturer no information. Some said their products had not been on the market long enough to give reliable figures.
The surveyed providers agree that the product has "enormous potential". Frank Lindenlaub, Head of Marketing: "We had the most successful product launch of all time at Rupp + Hubrach, and the product has established itself as an integral part of the program right from the start. The market share of products for defined applications will increase. Here, the added value for the eyeglass wearer with a clear benefit is easy to understand, the need is recognized and bought the product. "
Samuel Frei, Head of Marketing, E-Business and Product Management at Optiswiss, emphasizes: "If the topic is communicated well and understandably to consumers, there is a lot of growth potential for industry and opticians in this area."
Hoya Lens Germany Marketing Planning Manager, Sandra Stockem, is counting on the current season: "We expect higher growth in the upcoming fall / winter season. The full potential of the product will not be apparent until two or three years from when the product has become more widely known to the end user and has established itself as second pair eyewear with significant added value."