Millions of drivers aged between 35 and 55 are regularly taking to the roads and risking accidents through not being able to see adequately. According to a study by the College of Optometrists, 20% of middle-aged drivers in the UK are driving knowing that they have poor eyesight.
The study also revealed that as well as driving with poor eyesight, 9% of the middle-aged population operates heavy machinery knowing their eyesight is not to the required standard. Twenty eight per cent admitted that they put off going for a sight test for up to six months after noticing their eyesight had deteriorated – and a startling 21% put it off for up to 5 years.
The study showed that middle-aged men are the worst culprits when it comes to looking after their eyes, with almost one in three stating they would not go for a sight test if they noticed a deterioration in their eyesight.
Driving and vision
In the UK, by law: a driver of a car or motorcycle must be able to read in good daylight (with spectacles or contact lenses if worn) a number plate with symbols 97.4mm (3 inches) high from a distance of 20.5 metres or 20 metres if the number plate displays a narrower fault.
If you cannot meet this standard it is an offence to drive and your insurance may be invalidated.
Always wear an up to date pair of spectacles or contact lenses while driving, if they are needed.
Driving with uncorrected defective vision is an offence punishable with a fine of up to £1,000, three penalty points and possible disqualification.
Keep a spare pair of spectacles in your vehicle. In some parts of Europe drivers who wear spectacles, must, by law, carry a spare pair in their car.
For night driving do not use tinted lenses. If possible have an anti-reflection coat on your spectacles; we will be able to offer you advice.
Don’t forget to keep your car windscreen clean, inside and out!