Don’t swerve a sight test - the importance of good vision for driving

Don't swerve a sight test is a campaign launched on 14th November by the Association of Optometrist (AOP) to encourage all drivers to have regular sight tests. 

BBR Optometry is now heavily promoting this campaign for stronger vision checks for drivers in the lead up to Road Safety Week, 20-26 November.

BBR chairman, Nick Rumney, explains, “Drivers are currently tested on their visual acuity before their driving test by being asked to read a car number plate, at a distance of 20 metres. I believe this current assessment of drivers’ vision, which could be completed in conditions that vary, is inadequate.”

If a driver requires spectacles or contact lenses to meet this test, they are required to wear them for driving. They are also required to self-report to the DVLA if they have certain eye or general medical conditions and if they are advised by an optometrist or a medical practitioner that they should no longer drive. 

Changes to eyesight often come on gradually over time and deterioration of vision may not be immediately noticeable. “Older people have an increased risk of vision problems, the most common conditions, but not the only ones, affecting vision are age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.” Said Nick

It has been reported that 30% of road users have doubted whether their vision is good enough, yet continued to drive. Good vision is crucial for driving safety, along with a number of other physical and mental capabilities. 

 “We would like to see stronger legal requirements for drivers to prove that their vision meets the standards for driving. This should include an eye examination every two years, or more often if recommended by their optometrist. Eye examinations not only check your vision but are also crucial in detecting sight-threatening disease.

“If you feel your vision has changed you should see your local optometrist, who will be able to tell you if you need a new prescription, whether you need to be referred to an ophthalmologist (eye doctor), or if you have a condition that should be declared to the DVLA.”  Nick added.

Why not give BBR a call to book in your eye examination today on 01432 265030 or visit our website 

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