The use of vision is key to all aspects of driving. Good near and distance vision are needed to identify road hazards, read signs and view your dashboard. There are several factors that can affect the health of your eyes. Awareness of vision-related changes and problems will help you continue to drive safely.
1. Your vision can change at any age and at any stage in your driving career. Have your eyes tested regularly, at least every two years, unless advised otherwise by your optometrist.
2. Commonly reported problems include not seeing road or street signs, and difficulties driving in twilight or night conditions, which might indicate an underlying eye condition or disease.
3. Some eye conditions do not demonstrate symptoms in the early stages so regular sight testing is important to ensure early detection and access to treatment.
4. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) estimates that, if detected early, half of sight loss can be avoided.
5. You must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of any medical condition which may affect safe driving.
6. Loss of vision in one eye, loss of peripheral vision (visual field) and double vision can severely affect your ability to drive, even though you may pass the number plate test.
7. Eye diseases and conditions that affect vision can occur at any age, although they are more common in people aged over 60, and other groups such as those with a family history of glaucoma and those with diabetes.
8. Drivers aged 70 years and over must renew their licence every 3 years and declare that they still meet the medical standards to drive including the vision standard.
9. Visit your optometrist or optician for more information on vision and driving, including the best type of lenses, frames, sunglasses and lens coatings for driving.
10. A clean windscreen, on the inside and outside, makes it easier to see what is ahead.