Eyesight and Driving
More than 90% of the information needed to drive comes from the eyes but at least 2 million drivers on the roads today are unaware that they are at risk.
Think back to the last time that you had your eyes tested, if you ever have?
Many of us do not have regular checks on our eyesight and do not realise that it can deteriorate at any time. Without knowing this we are putting ourselves and others at risk on the roads.
It is an offence to drive with uncorrected defective vision and there is also a penalty for failing to declare a medical condition which may render you unfit to drive. This can be as hefty as £1000!!
Deterioration of eyesight can not only effect your driving skills directly but also can result in tiredness, headaches and road rage due to frustration. All of these can be a danger on the road.
The group most at risk, particularly to blurred vision, are over 50′s who may not notice the change of eyesight. There is said to be an estimated 2 million of us who do not realise that we can no longer read a number plate at the legally required distance.
Before you start to learn to drive, make sure you are aware of the eyesight requirements.��If you need glasses or contact lenses to meet the requirements you must make sure you wear them every time you drive.
Before the practical driving test, your examiner will ask you to read the number plate on a stationery vehicle.
The distance requirement for the old-style number plate is 20.5 metres or (67 feet). The distance requirement for the current number plate is 20 metres. New style number plates were introduced on the 01 September 2001 and are easily identifiable because they start with two letters ie AB51 ABC.
Letting DVLA know about eyesight conditions
When applying for your licence from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) you should let them know if you have:
- any visual condition which affects both eyes (not including short or long sight or colour blindness)
- any visual condition which affects your sight, (not including short or long sight or colour blindness), for example if you have sight in one eye only.
- sight corrective surgery.
The general reccomendation to have eyesight checked every year is a sound one, which everyone who uses the road should follow. Having an eyesight test will usually identify the majority of common eyesight conditions, and may also give clues about other less common diseases.