Drivers often forget how complex driving can be, and being able to meet the required vision standards is extremely important for road safety.
Writing on the DVLA website, new Vision Panel Secretary Dr Cathy Armstrong shares her professional advice on getting your eyesight checked for driving.
It’s particularly important, she notes, that if someone has been prescribed glasses or contact lenses for driving, they must wear them every time they drive, to stay legal on the road.
Winter months can be especially challenging, because of the darker mornings, glare from the low setting sun, reduced visibility in rain and fog, wet and icy weather and shorter daylight hours.
Those who drive for a living and have a Group 2 (vocational) licence must meet higher standards for vision, due to the size and type of vehicles they drive, and the longer time spent behind the wheel.
Eyesight deteriorates over time, and this can happen at any age. That’s why the DVLA recommends that all drivers have their vision tested at least every two years.
You can view the driving eyesight rules for the area your sight covers and how clearly you can see, on the gov.uk website at https://www.gov.uk/driving-eyesight-rules
If you notice any change in your eyesight, Dr Armstrong concludes, go to an optician immediately – don’t wait until your next check-up or when your driving licence is due for renewal. And if you don’t meet the eyesight standards, stop driving immediately and tell the DVLA. It’s better to be safe than sorry.