Keeping your eyesight tip-top when driving
by Helen Jackson |
posted 06 December 2017
Calls for compulsory driver eye tests are on the rise. Currently, the responsibility of deciding whether you need an eye test sits firmly with the driver. Any driver should regularly get their eyes tested. Or, failing that, the driver can inform the DVLA if they feel their eyesight has fallen below the required standard.
If you notice your eyesight has deteriorated, even slightly whilst driving, it's important you book in for an eye test.
Dr Gareth Rees has been DVLA’s Vision Panel Secretary for the last 10 years. Rees liaises between the DVLA and the Honorary Medical Advisory Panel on Visual Disorders.
“The panel meets every 6 months and is made up of eyesight specialists, who provide DVLA with expert advice on how to apply and interpret the law when assessing fitness to drive.”
In line with advice from optometrists, Dr Rees suggests that you should get your eyes tested at least every 2 years. But if you recognise any of the signs that your eyesight is deteriorating, don’t wait – go and get checked with your optician or doctor. If they advise you to tell DVLA about your eyesight, you can do this online or by writing to them.
What happens after you report it to DVLA?
“After you tell us about your condition,” continues Dr Rees, “don’t worry – usually, most people who tell us they’ve got a medical condition are still allowed to drive. If you have a ‘progressive’ (worsening) condition but can still meet the eyesight standards for driving, you may get a short-term licence rather than a full-term one. This type of licence lasts for 1, 2, 3 or 5 years and when it’s due for renewal, we let you know.”
It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to driving safely. So, if you’re in doubt, get it checked and book your appointment with your optician or doctor today.