Recent figures suggest that around half of all British drivers are unaware of a vital self-check eyesight test that they should be carrying out on a regular basis. Whilst British drivers are required to pass an eyesight test in order to get a driving license, the DVLA also states that all drivers must be able to read a number plate from 20 metres (65ft) away at all times.

Current figures show that over 48million motorists are currently registered in the UK, suggesting that millions of people are driving with eyesight below the minimal required standard, which could be very dangerous. Estimates suggest that up to 1.5million UK driving license holders have never even had an eye test and road crashes caused by poor vision could result in thousands of casualties.

It’s important that motorists self-check their eyesight on a regular basis to allow for deterioration over time. According to Dr Wyn Parry, senior doctor of the DVLA, the easiest way to check your eyesight is to “work out what 20 metres looks like at the roadside – this is typically about the length of 5 cars parked next to each other” – you should then test whether you can clearly read the number plate of a car that is 20 metres away.

If your vision doesn’t match this standard, you should visit an optician as soon as possible as the ability to see properly is absolutely fundamental to safe driving. Whilst it is recommended that you go for eye sight and eye health tests regularly (at least every two years), if you find that you are unable to read number plates from a distance, or experience any other sight problems, you should book an eye test right away.

At Dominic Tunnell Opticians, standard eye examinations include retinal photos, field screening and glaucoma screening to check for any sight problems or eye health issues. An extended test can also include optical coherence tomography which allows optometrists to look at cross-sectional layers of the retina and other structures to diagnose and monitor certain eye conditions.

To arrange for an eye exam, please call 01905 613020 and we will be happy to help. For further information on eye exams, read more here.