How good is your eyesight for driving? 90% of the information a driver uses is visual, which is why having good vision while on the road isn’t just a recommendation, but a legal requirement.
Yet, research shows that a staggering 1 in 5 drivers cannot see clearly, causing slower reaction times, and putting themselves and those around them at greater risk of accidents and injuries. In fact, there are approximately 2,900 casualties per year caused by poor vision on the road.
So, what can be done to ensure your vision is in the best shape to drive? Let’s take a look at the legal standards set out by the DLVA first.
What Is The Legal Eyesight Standard For Driving?
If you’ve been a driver for a while, it can be easy to forget the basic DVLA eyesight prerequisites for driving. Here’s a recap of what you need to know as a car driver whether you have perfect vision or need to wear glasses or contact lenses to see clearly:
· You must be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away. If you have been prescribed glasses or contact lenses and advised to use them while driving, you must be able to read the number plate while wearing them.
· You should also be able to read the 6/12 line on the Snellen Chart during an eye examination with both eyes, or one, if you only have vision in that eye. Again, if you usually wear glasses or contact lenses, you should wear them during this assessment.
· Your field of vision must also be adequate – again, one of our optometrists can assess this during your eye examination.
· You must tell the DVLA about certain eye or general medical conditions, or eye injuries that may affect your field of vision, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, heart problems, high myopia (short-sightedness), and vision in only one eye. You can find the full list of conditions here.
These rules can differ slightly for lorry, bus and licensed taxi drivers, and our optometrists will have all the up-to-date guidelines available if this applies to you.
What Else Can Affect Your Vision While Driving?
Now that we’ve established the foundation for maintaining legal vision standards while driving, it’s time to look at what else can also contribute to poor vision behind the wheel.
The most common complaint by far among our patients, is having to contend with bright glare and reflections. This is especially prevalent at night and is usually caused by blinding headlights from oncoming vehicles that reflect off tarmac and your car bonnet.
When you experience glare while driving, it can severely reduce your ability to see clearly, causing you to squint, develop headaches and even temporarily blind your vision. This is one of the biggest dangers to your road safety, as it stops you from being able to fully concentrate and see what’s ahead of you, or where you’re driving.
So, how can you overcome glare at night and during the day? The most effective solution we recommend to our patients is to wear anti-glare driving glasses. As the name suggests, these glasses have a special coating that is designed to reduce glare and reflections, allowing you to experience more comfortable and clear vision.
However, standard anti-glare lens coatings do tend to attract more dust, as they do not contain anti-static technology, and also smudge easily when you handle them, meaning you end up cleaning your glasses more often. You’ll probably have noticed that standard anti-glare glasses have a distinct green hue on the lenses, which can put people off wearing them.
As independent opticians, we are always committed to going one step further to help our patients with their vision, especially when it comes to tasks like driving. This is why we also offer more enhanced anti-glare lenses, with one of our best options being Crizal Sapphire UV.
What Are The Benefits Of Wearing Crizal Sapphire UV Lenses?
Light sources are all around you, which means that glare can come from every direction, increasing discomfort, and dazzling your vision. Having to adjust to glare can also cause you to change your posture and even take off your glasses – which as we now know can be part of the reason accidents occur so often on the road.
It is with this in mind that Essilor have created Crizal Sapphire UV lenses, reducing reflections from all angles for sharper, more vivid vision wherever you are, whatever you’re doing.
Not only do they offer glare reduction, but they also have the highest E-SPF rating on clear glasses lenses, providing enhanced UV protection too. This safeguards your eyes from the cumulative effects of UV damage, which can lead to conditions that can affect your vision later in life, like cataracts and macular degeneration. These eye diseases can consequently affect your ability to drive too, which makes these lenses especially suitable to wear behind the wheel.
Additional features like being scratch, smudge, water, and dust resistant and repellent, ensure your lenses remain protected and are durable, providing you with the utmost clarity of vision wherever you are. These premium lenses are virtually colourless too, so you won’t have to worry about that typical green hue that is often found on standard anti-glare glasses.
It’s no wonder that our patients opt for Crizal Sapphire UV lenses and consider them a worthwhile investment!
Contact Us About Your Driving Vision
Having regular eye exams and a high-quality pair of anti-glare glasses are essential for good vision and your safety on the road. To find out more or book an eye exam, contact our friendly team today.