Advice for drivers
You should always wear your glasses or contact lenses when driving if you need them. We also recommend the following:
- Keep a pair of prescription sunglasses in the car to combat bright sunlight, especially in the winter when the sun is low
- Plastic or polycarbonate lenses are less likely than glass to shatter in an accident
- Some types of Varifocals are designed to provide a wider field of view for driving – your optometrist will advice you about this
- Polarising lenses reduce glare, making them ideal for driving during bright daylight hours
- Adding an anti-reflective coating to your normal distance driving glasses reduces glare when day driving
Eyesight, driving and the law
The law in the UK states that you are legally required to be able to read a number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres in normal conditions. If you can’t meet this standard, your insurance will be invalid. However, there are two obvious problems with this criteria: it requires drivers to self-test (which they rarely do) and secondly, it doesn’t test for visual fields (your peripheral vision), which is essential for safe driving.
Additionally, certain eyesight conditions, such as cataracts and double vision must be reported to the DVLA and drivers must be able to see clearly out of the corners of their eyes and when driving in the dark.
Drivers who don’t take responsibility for their vision by having regular eye tests risk serious penalties if involved in an accident. This can include points on your licence, a fine or even time in prison.
Make sure that you don’t get caught out when it comes to driving. At Leith opticians we will ensure that your eye prescription is correct, up-to-date and we will answer any queries you may have about driving and the law.