Have you had an up to date eye test for driving?

driving 1-min

Good vision is essential for driving – that’s a given. However, your vision can deteriorate gradually without you noticing, which is why it’s so important to have an eye test for driving regularly.

Now that Road Safety Week is approaching, our team of friendly experts want to make sure your eyes are primed for travel behind the wheel and have put together guidance and advice to help you.

Legal requirements

The law demands that specific standards of vision while driving are met. This can be with glasses or contact lenses if you need them to correct your vision. You must be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away – about the length of 5 cars. You’re also required to have an adequate field of vision and visual acuity (the ability to distinguish shape and detail) of decimal 0.5 (6/12) on the Snellen scale.

While you can do the number plate test yourself, your optometrist will have to determine everything else during an eye test.

The dangers of poor vision

Drivers with poor vision cause an estimated 2900 casualties in road crashes each year, with 1.8 million drivers thought to have eyesight below the legal standard.

Reduced vision stops you from spotting signs, hazards, pedestrians, and other cars around you, which poses a risk to yourself and others around you too.

Eye disease

Your vision with macular degeneration

As you age, your chance of developing certain eye diseases and conditions increases too. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50. It causes blurring or distortion in the central part of your vision, while glaucoma causes your peripheral vision to deteriorate slowly.

As with long or short-sightedness, eye disease doesn’t always show obvious symptoms at first, so the only way to detect it is through an eye exam. If you are diagnosed with an eye condition that means you have reduced vision, you are also legally obliged to notify DVLA.

Protect your vision with an eye test

The only way to check your vision is what it should be, and that you aren’t developing an eye disease, is to have regular eye exams. Most adults should have their eyes tested at least every 2 years, but our optometrist will tell you how often you should return for a check-up.

Having the right glasses for driving if you are required to wear them can also help provide additional comfort and clarity when on the road. We recommend opting for an anti glare coating, or going for specialist EnRoute driving lenses from renowned optical lens supplier, HOYA.

Offering a wider field of vision for distance vision and varifocal prescriptions, reduced glare, smoother adaptation when switching between viewing your dashboard, mirrors, and the road, as well as a stable image perception when driving in various conditions, EnRoute driving glasses will help you drive more confidently and reach your destination safely.

We’re always here to help you see better! Contact our Corbridge opticians practice to arrange your eye exam, or talk about your vision correction options to ensure your vision is up to scratch for driving.