Driving & Your Eyes
Driving is one of those things that tests our eyesight every day (and night, which is when a lot of people find driving particularly uncomfortable!). Let us know if you drive a lot as there are lots of things we can do to make your eyes more comfortable behind the wheel at any time. We have many helpful ideas; anti-glare and polarised lenses and even special ‘Drivewear’ lenses with a variable depth of tint on the lens – so your glasses adapt to different light conditions for you!
Obviously good eyesight is essential for safe driving but did you know that there are legal standards that you must adhere to? We recommend an annual Enhanced Examination, but certainly all drivers should get their eyes tested at least every 2 years, as sight changes often so gradually that we don’t realise it’s happening. The new DVLA visual standards for driving are:
‘for ALL drivers the ability to read in good daylight (with the aid of glasses or contact lenses, if worn) a registration mark fixed to a motor vehicle and containing characters 79mm high and 50mm wide from 20 meters (numberplates after September 2001) OR characters 79mm high and 57mm wide from 20.5 metres (the older style plates)’.
‘Visual acuity (with the aid of glasses or contact lenses, if worn) must be at least 6/12 with both eyes open ’. We can tell you whether you meet the 6/12 standard during your eye examination.
If you are aware of any medical or visual condition which may affect your ability to drive, you must also inform the DVLA to stay legal; for example if you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, stroke or any other eye problem.
We are able to perform private vision testing to DVLA standards if required. We measure your visual acuity (on the letter chart) and then test your field of vision using both eyes together. We are not able to advise from this test whether you are medically fit to drive but we can pass the results on to DVLA so their assessors can inform you of their decision – it is advisable to check with DVLA before booking your appointment to ensure they will accept your results, as they may require you to visit one of their nominated centres instead.