The Importance of a Driving Sight Test

Are you a driver? When was the last time that you had a sight test?

According to the Association of Optometrists, drivers with poor vision cause an estimated 2900 road casualties every year, so they’ve launched the Don’t Swerve a Sight Test campaign to help make our roads safer for everyone. They’re doing this by raising awareness of the importance of sight tests and reminding all drivers to book regular eye examinations.


What Are The Facts?

A regular sight test is the easiest and most effective way of making sure that your vision meets the legal standards set out by Government.

In order to drive legally, you must be able to read a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres away. This is a test you can regularly do yourself in a car park or street – wearing your glasses or contact lenses if necessary.


Having regular eye exams allows us to check whether your vision is suitable for driving. During the examination, we will carry out a field-of-vision test to check that you have good peripheral vision. You will also need to be able to read the 6/12 line of letters on the Snellen chart, with glasses or contact lenses if you need them.

The most important thing is to make sure that you come for a regular eye exam. Vision can deteriorate very slowly over time, so you may not even notice the change. The best thing you can do is visit your local Derby optician for an eye examination every 2 years, or more often if you’re advised to by our optometrists, Davina and Fiona.

Is Your Vision Good Enough Or Do You Need A Driving Sight Test?

So, when did you last have an eye examination? If it’s more than two years ago, we strongly advise you to book an eye exam. It’s a 45 minute appointment, and it could make all the difference when you are driving to yourself and other road users.

Here are some stats that the AOP have given us as part of their Don’t Swerve a Sight Test campaign.

  • 30% of road users have doubted whether their vision is good enough, yet continued to drive
  • 26% say they’ve delayed getting their eyes checked by an optometrist despite suspecting their vision was getting worse, and 6% admit to stalling a sight test for more than a year
  • Less than half (40%) would stop driving if they were told their vision, even with glasses or contact lenses, was below the legal standard for driving. With 10% saying that they would continue to drive as normal
  • 16% admit to knowing a driver whose sight they believe to be below the legal vision standard

We Can All Help Make This Change

All of us can support this campaign to help make our roads safer. If you haven’t been for an eye exam in the last 2 years, book an appointment. And if you know a driver who you think needs a sight test, encourage them to book now.

Together, we can reduce the number of road casualties on our roads for good.

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