Is your vision roadworthy?

Is your vision roadworthy?

Posted on 20th November 2017

As part of Road Safety Week (20-16 November), the AOP (Association of Optometrists) has undertaken further research into vision standards and driving. Sadly since this story hit the news we have heard accounts of people being seriously injured or even killed by a driver with poor vision. Please don’t sit behind a wheel of a car without perfect vision.

The message is don’t swerve a sight test. If you notice any change to the way you see, visit your optometrist as soon as possible.

The study found that:

  • 30% of road users have doubted whether their vision is good enough, yet continued to drive
  • 26% say they’ve delayed getting their eyes checked by an optometrist despite suspecting their vision was getting worse
  • Less than half (40%) would stop driving if they were told their vision, even with glasses or contact lenses, was below the legal standard for driving. With 10% saying that they would continue to drive as normal
  • 16% admit to knowing a driver whose sight they believe to be below the legal vision standard.

The AOP has provided the following information to help drivers understand how to check that their vision is roadworthy.

How to check your vision

You can test yourself by reading (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres. You should check this yourself regularly. Your optometrist will check your vision on a Snellen chart during a sight test.

Driving with eyesight below the required standard is illegal and may also mean your motor insurance is not valid.

Medical conditions

You must tell the DVLA about certain eye or general medical conditions. For a full list of conditions you must declare, see

The most common conditions (but not the only ones) affecting vision are age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

If you are a group 1 driver, you must tell the DVLA if you have a medical condition affecting both eyes, including different conditions in each eye. You can either report your condition online or ll in form V1 and send it to the DVLA.

The DVLA may send you for a field-of-vision test in which lights are flashed in the edge of your vision to make sure you can see them. People are generally very poor at judging their own field of vision, and blind spots in your vision create a risk of accidents, especially involving pedestrians.

What should I do if I feel my vision is getting worse for driving?

You should see your optometrist who will be able to tell you if you need a new prescription, whether you need to be referred to an ophthalmologist (eye doctor), or if you have a condition that should be declared to the DVLA.

If you think that your eyesight has deteriorated or you haven’t had your eyes examined in the last two years, you can book in for a comprehensive eye examination by calling 0131 225 2235. Don’t swerve an eye test!

Car swerving

Related Posts

Spring/summer eyewear trends

12th March 2018

The weather says winter isn’t over yet but that shouldn’t stop you getting spring/summer ready. And what better way to update your look than with exciting new eyewear? This style staple can transf...

Read more

Cameron Optometry first practice to welcome most advanced scanner available worldwide

22nd February 2018

This week, we welcome the Optos California scanner to the practice, continuing our commitment to ensure we always have the latest technology available. We are the first optometry practice in Scotland ...

Read more

Cameron Optometry shortlisted for two Optician Awards

15th February 2018

We are thrilled to announce that we have been shortlisted for two categories in the highly regarded national UK Optician Awards. Recognised as the benchmark of excellence in the optical community, the...

Read more

Specialist support for children adapting to contact lens wear

29th January 2018

Heather Muir has completed further training to ensure Cameron Optometry continues to provide highest level of care to young patients, in particular those transitioning to contact lens wear. Last y...

Read more