This summer’s heatwave might have had drivers reaching for their sunglasses, but prescription eyewear might be more appropriate for some.
The DVLA is seeking to remind drivers that they need to meet the minimum eyesight standards at all times. To do this, a campaign throughout the summer will aim to raise awareness, and remind drivers of the basic level their vision must meet.
Worryingly, some 50% of UK drivers are not even aware of the standards they are expected to meet for eyesight whilst out on the roads. Many may not have bothered to check since passing their driving test – potentially decades ago for some of the 48 million drivers on the road.
For those in need of a reminder, the basic test for drivers is if they can read a standard car number plate from 20 metres (65 feet) away. For those who don’t carry a tape measure around with them at all times, this is equivalent to around five car lengths.
DVLA figures show that 50,000 drivers having had their driving licence revoked or refused between 2012 and 2016 due to their eyesight. Some 3,000 accidents a year have also been linked to vision impairment.
Drivers can potentially be prosecuted for failing to meet those minimum standards. As such, the DVLA is encouraging drivers to see an optician should they be worried about their vision.
Furthering the message is the Driving Blind campaign, backed by road safety organisations including the FIA and GEM Motoring Assist.
This includes a petition to press for legislation to require drivers to undergo eye tests every ten years, along with a field of vision assessment.