Vision and Driving

December 17, 2016

Vision and Driving

Driving is the primary means of personal travel in many countries whether you are being driven or driving yourself, and it relies heavily on vision for its successful execution. It is no surprise that driving is a highly visual task.

Many patients with low vision continue to drive even though their acuity is below the legal visual requirements for driving. They usually justify their actions by reporting that they "only drive a short distance, only drive in familiar areas or drive when a family member is with them to guide them!!

Many adults who have low vision want to continue driving an automobile because it represents independence, convenience, and freedom.

The decision to drive, or continue driving, is a personal one that must be made collaboratively with you, your eye doctor, and your local licensing agency.


What considerations do people with sight problems need to make when driving?

It’s important to have your sight tested if you think you may have a problem with your eyesight. Studies suggest that up to one in five middle aged drivers are taking to the road knowing their eyesight is not as good as it should be. It is not just common sense to ensure your eyesight is good enough to enable you to drive comfortably, but you will be breaking the law if it isn’t.


What is the legal responsibility?

A driver of a car or motorbike must be able to read a number plate, with symbols, 79mm high by 50mm wide, from a distance of 20 meters AND a driver should have a visual acuity of at least 6/12 with both eyes open.  This can be done with glasses or contact lenses if you usually wear them. The law also requires drivers to have a wide field of vision, your optometrist will tell you if you may not meet the field of vision standard. Bus and lorry drivers are required to have a higher standard of vision.

It’s important to have your sight tested if you think you may have a problem with your eyesight. Pop into a Vision Works near you and take advantage of our R90 eye test. We care about your safety, and so should you. #LoveYourEyes

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Vision and Driving:      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2975746/