Remember when you were learning to drive and you had to identify number plates on other cars? When was the last time you tried to do it?
If you’re a driver, it is vital to have regular eye tests. As we get older, eyesight can deteriorate. Aside from being a hazard to both yourself and other road users, you can also be prosecuted if you drive without meeting the minimum standards of vision for driving.
The DVLA has launched a national eyesight awareness campaign aimed at helping ensure drivers meet the minimum eyesight requirements for driving. Legally, this means being able to identify a number plate from 20 metres and having an adequate field of vision. The latter is something that your optician can test you for, but identifying number plates is a very easy test you can do yourself.
How far is 20 metres?
Judging how far away 20 metres is can be a bit tricky. For a start, some of us don’t deal in metres so 66 feet or 21.8 yards are probably more meaningful measurements to you.
Of course judging that distance is the main problem, so it’s helpful to have a few reference points when testing your vision. 20 metres roughly equates to five cars parked next to each other or eight parking bays. Alternatively, it is around 26 steps for a man and around 33 for a woman.
If you can only read number plates from this distance with the help of contact lenses or glasses, then you should always wear these when driving. If you’re going for a DVLA test then you must tell them about any problems that affect both your eyes.
The full minimum eyesight standards for driving can be found HERE
All of RoSPA’s on road driver training incorporates eyesight tests. So whether it’s chauffeur training, banksman training, an experienced driver assessment or one of our other driver training options, you can be guaranteed that your eyesight will be tested!
Throughout #OSHtober we will be providing you with tips and advice on how to ensure you drive safely for work. You can also keep up to date with all the latest safety news by signing up to SafetyMatters, our free monthly e-newsletter.