Focus on good eyesight

IAM RoadSmart has urged drivers to focus on good eyesight, warning that vision deteriorates over time and can lead to poor reaction times to unexpected hazards or the behaviour of other road users.

Head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, said, ‘Get regular checks. Eyesight can deteriorate over time without you noticing. If you are having to move closer to the television to read the titles clearly or have noticed even a slight deterioration with your eyes, we recommend a visit to the optician for a check-up; after all we should do this on a regular basis (every two years) anyway and its free for the over 60s.

‘Take a break, eyes get tired too. If you are travelling for long periods of time you should take a break every two hours or every 100 miles, whichever is sooner. This will refresh you and your eyes keeping you alert.

‘Driving at night can be the most problematic area as our eyes age. No matter how eagle-eyed we may think we are, it is a scientific fact that as we get older our eyes become less sensitive to light. Avoiding night time driving is a wise precaution if you are starting to struggle to see clearly after dusk.’

He added that the law states drivers must be able to read a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres.

Richard concluded, ‘If you do have eye correction prescribed for driving make sure you use it, not having your glasses is a poor excuse when you have had the accident. As a little aside how often do you clean your glasses? Even a pristine windscreen will seem dirty if the lenses are covered in fingerprints.’