Drivers are legally required to be able to read a number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres and to wear their corrective prescription eyewear at all times. Insurance will be invalid if you can’t meet this standard.
Certain eyesight conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma and double vision, must be reported to the DVLA.
Drivers must also be able to see clearly out of the corners of their eyes and see clearly when driving in the dark. For drivers who do not take responsibility for having regular eye examinations and who are involved in an accident, the results can be extremely serious – including points added to your driving licence and a fine.
The study found that 22% of British drivers who need glasses or contact lenses have knowingly driven without them, putting themselves and others at risk. And it is mostly younger drivers who are guilty. 35% of 17-24 year olds do not always drive with their eyewear compared to about 20% of 45-54 year olds.
Further research conducted this year by Keena Rakkado found that 87% of drivers are in favour of compulsory eye examinations for drivers every five years, particularly for the over 40s.
Of 2,000 people surveyed, 53% were also in favour of random roadside testing of drivers’ eyesight.
The survey also revealed that
- 1 in 3 drivers may not have had an eye test in the last two years.
- 80% of those surveyed believe that drivers over 40 years old should have their vision re-tested regularly.
- 65% thought that carrying a spare pair of corrective glasses should be required by law.
- 57% of drivers requiring corrective eyewear did not carry a spare pair of glasses with them when driving.