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Wearing glasses and driving...


If you drive you probably remember the very first part of your driving test, when the instructor asks you to read a licence plate. This is asked straight away because being able to see clearly is such an integral and important aspect of driving! If you need glasses or wear contacts you should always wear them when you are driving. It’s vital for your safety as well as the safety of your fellow drivers and pedestrians around you. We also have these recommendations -

• You should ask your optician to recommend the most suitable lens design for driving if you wear bifocals or varifocals.

• Remember that some glasses styles are more suited for driving than others. For example those thin rims and high sides can help to improve all-round vision. You should consider this when buying glasses you will be driving in.

• You should always carry a spare pair of glasses or lenses with you just in case. This applies even more if you are embarking on long journeys or when driving when travelling abroad.

• Non- glass, plastic or polycarbonate lenses are much less likely than glass to shatter should you be in an accident so could be a safer choice for the roads.

• If you are driving in the summer and are at risk of sun-glare, polarising lenses can help to reduce it.

The law in the UK states that your eyesight is of a point where you can safely drive when you can read a licence plate at 20.5m in clear conditions, which is where that initial question in your driving test comes in. There are however two noticeable issues with this criteria...

1. It requires you to self-test, which you probably seldom do

2. It doesn’t test for visual fields, which is a crucial part of driving safely.

If you have certain eyesight conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts, or double vision, you must tell the DVLA and you must be able to see when driving in the dark and clearly out of the corners of your eyes. If you can’t meet this standard, your insurance will be invalid.

If you don’t take responsibility for your eye-sight by having regular eye-checks you are serious putting yourself and others in danger.

As well as this you risk facing the other serious repercussions if involved in an accident, like points on your licence, a fine or even time in prison.