Drivers have been warned they could face fines of up to £1,000 and three penalty points for driving without prescription glasses. On top of that, motorists may even risk having their auto insurance policy invalidated if they require prescription glasses and don’t wear them at the time of an incident that is later deemed their fault.
Many nearsighted people will need to wear glasses when driving to have a clear view of the road ahead.
According to the DVLA, drivers “must wear glasses or contact lenses every time they drive if they are needed to meet ‘driving vision standards’.”
Tom Preston, Founder of hippo leaseHe said: “Our eyesight is precious and we should all be taking the necessary steps to protect it at all costs.
“It’s dangerous to drive with impaired vision and you could be putting your life and the lives of others at risk when you can’t see the road clearly, read road signs correctly or see potential hazards.
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“We would encourage responsible drivers to have regular comprehensive eye exams, wear prescription glasses or sunglasses when behind the wheel, and take frequent breaks to rest their eyes when driving for long periods of time.
“If you’re struggling with eyestrain while driving, talk to your optician about polarized lenses that can help with this and aim to make your trips more comfortable.”
With that in mind, experts have provided motorists with several tips they could follow to protect their eyes while driving.
Roshni Kanabar, Optometrist and Clinical Advisor to the Association of Optometrists (AOP) said: “Vision problems caused by low sun can be improved by wearing prescription sunglasses, as well as certain types of lenses and coatings. designed specifically for driving.
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“If you’re having trouble seeing when you’re driving, your first port of call should be your optometrist so they can investigate what might be causing your problems and recommend solutions to keep you comfortable and safe.”
Drivers are also advised to keep a pair of prescription glasses in their car so they never forget them and to opt for glare-free polarized sunglasses that are ideal for driving as they will prevent glare from objects or the road.
Mr. Kanabar highlighted the possibility of dry eyes when driving. He said: “Usually we tend to blink a lot less while concentrating, which can lead to the natural coating of tears over the eyes starting to evaporate, making them dry and uncomfortable.
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“It’s important for drivers to consider what makes them feel most comfortable, especially when driving long distances. For example, try to remember to blink, and it’s important to take regular breaks on your journey.”
If sunglasses don’t work to block the sun, then drivers should lower the car’s built-in visor to further protect their eyes from bright light.
Non-reflective sunshades will absorb harmful UV rays, while reflective models will deflect them.
Motorists are encouraged to adjust the visor so that it acts as a barrier between the eyes and the sun, but does not interfere with the view of the road ahead.
If the sun visor or passenger side sun visor is damaged, drivers should repair it or get a replacement to keep the built-in sun protection system reliable when needed.
Kanabar concluded: “As well as being able to see a good level of detail, which is important for things like reading road signs, it means you can also spot moving objects in your peripheral vision, like cyclists coming off of secondary roads, and to be able to detect objects that do not stand out clearly from the background, allowing you to anticipate what is about to happen and adapt your driving to the situation.
“Whether you wear glasses or not, regular vision tests are vital for drivers. This is because your optometrist will assess your vision and examine the health of your eyes.
“You should have an eye exam every two years, or more often if your optometrist recommends it.”
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