Having good eyesight is essential to safe driving. Yet some drivers fail to get their eyes tested regularly, some going years or even decades without checking their vision is up to scratch. Others put themselves and others in danger by driving without their glasses or lenses. Read more.
Currently, drivers of cars, vans and motorbikes are only required to have their eyesight checked once, when they take their driving test, by reading a number-plate – a method that doesn’t accurately measure vision over distance, and fails to check peripheral vision or other vision problems. Beyond this, when they hit age 70, drivers must simply declare their vision meets legal requirements. Brake believes this is grossly inadequate.
What needs to be done?
Drivers can help make our roads safer by getting their eyes tested at least every two years - even if they think their vision is perfect - or straight away if they notice a problem. Vision can deteriorate quickly, sometimes without you noticing, so regular tests are crucial, and can help detect longer-term conditions before they get worse. If you need glasses or lenses, always wear them at the wheel.
Brake is also calling for government to make it compulsory for drivers to have a proper eyesight test with a professional at the start of their driving career, and at least every 10 years thereafter, at the same time as renewing your photocard. It's predicted this simple requirement would make a big difference to road safety, preventing casualties and delivering cost-savings to the economy. It would benefit drivers too, by helping them drive safely and avoid crashes, and by ensuring eye conditions are detected and treated early.
At the same time, the government should raise awareness among drivers about the importance of getting tested at least every two years, such as by providing reminders in documentation about renewing your tax disc.
What you can do:
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Make Brake’s Pledge, including committing to get your eyes tested regularly
Write to your MP calling for compulsory, regular eyesight checks for all drivers with a practitioner
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