The Spectator

Driving and Your Vision

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Ensuring you can see properly as a road user is incredibly important. Whether you wear glasses or contact lenses for driving, or don’t need anything at all you must meet the standards of vision for driving to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

Regular eye examinations as a driver are advised to keep your prescription up to date and assess the health of the eye, ensuring there are no changes that might affect your vision. Using our high-tech equipment, our optometrists will take in depth images and scans of the back of the eye, checking for any common eye conditions or health concerns. Eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma can affect your peripheral vision, reducing your field of vision which is vital for driving.

Following an eye examination our optometrists will notify you of any changes in your prescription and advise whether an updated pair of glasses or contact lenses are required. At present if you drive a car or motorbike, you must be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away with vision correction if required, have a visual acuity of at least 6/12 measured on the Snellen scale and have an adequate field of vision. Any problems with your vision must be declared to the DVLA, however this does not include being long or short sighted or colour-blind.

When choosing your glasses, we would advise that you have an anti-reflection coating on your lenses which will help to reduce the glare from road surfaces and car headlights when driving at night or in poor weather conditions, and polarised sunglasses or a sun clip that will help to reduce glare from the sun during the day. Most sunglasses are available with or without a prescription, and it’s always handy to have a pair to hand in the car for those unexpected sunny days.

Other than ensuring your eye examinations and glasses are up to date, you can further enhance your driving by keeping your windscreen clear to reduce glare and increase visibility, make sure your headlights are working and reduce lights inside the car if you can.

If your last eye examination was 2 or more years ago and you drive, we would advise booking your eye exam as soon as possible.

Contact your local Eye Place today to book your eye examination, discuss new glasses or chat to our team about driving vision.