Eyesight Requirements for Driving UK | Tesco Opticians

  • Driving and Your Eyesight

    Driving eyesight requirements





    According to a survey carried out by the road safety charity BRAKE, 1 in 4 drivers have not had an eye test in the last two years and 4% (that’s more than 1.5 million licence holders) have NEVER had their eyes tested!

    Here at Tesco Opticians our eye tests are free for everyone, so there’s no excuse not to have your eyes tested to make sure that your eyesight is good enough to keep you, your passengers and other drivers on the road safe.

    Find out more about the eyesight requirements for driving below and stay safe on the roads.


    Eyesight requirements for driving

    The law requires drivers to be able to read a registration plate from 20 metres away. If you can’t meet this requirement without the assistance of glasses or contact lenses, then you are legally required to wear them whenever you are driving. Failing to do so is a criminal offence and could cause your licence to be revoked, lead to a fine and may also invalidate your insurance.

    Your eyesight for driving will also need to pass the minimum standards for visual acuity and field of vision; your optician will be able to test both of these for you.

    The minimum eyesight for driving standards are slightly different for bus and lorry drivers, so make sure that you advise the optometrist during your eye test if you hold a bus (PCV) or lorry (LGV) licence.


    Practical driving test vision checks

    If you have your practical driving test coming up soon then it is especially important to make sure that your prescription, glasses and/or contact lenses are all up to date, as you will have a quick vision check at the beginning of your practical test.

    On the day, before you get into the car for your test you will be asked to read a number plate on a parked car from a distance.

    If you are unable to read the number plate correctly then you will fail the vision check and your practical driving test will be recorded as a fail. The DVLA will also be informed and your licence will be revoked. You would then need to reapply for your licence and have an eye test for driving with the DVSA at the driving test centre.


    Changes to your eyesight and driving

    Your eyesight changes constantly over your lifetime, so regular eye tests are essential, not only to ensure that you comply with DVLA requirements, but for yours and other drivers’ safety too. We recommend that you book a free eye test with us at least once every two years to stay safe on the road. But your Optometrist may advise you need to have an eye test more regularly based on your prescription and eye health, so check the copy of your prescription to find out when they advised your next eye test.

    Some general health and eye conditions such as diabetes, cataracts and glaucoma can affect your vision and your ability to drive. It is therefore very important that you have regular eye tests to ensure that you meet the legal visual requirements for driving.

    It is important that certain health conditions are declared to the DVLA. To see a full list of medical conditions that must be reported please visit the DVLA website here. Failure to inform the DVLA about a medical condition that could affect your driving can result in a fine of up to £1,000.


    Glasses for driving

    If you’re going to be wearing your glasses for driving a lot, you can improve your comfort and safety on the road by investing in suitable lenses for your glasses.

    For prescription glasses, our high quality anti-reflective coating will not only make your lenses more scratch-resistant, it will also help to reduce the level of glare from bright lights and reflections when driving. Having an anti-reflective coating on driving glasses can be particularly useful for those who are going to be driving in the dark a lot.

    For sunglasses, choosing polarised lenses will give you the best quality vision whilst driving in the sun. Polarised lenses are the highest quality tint for sunglasses and are excellent at removing glare caused when the sunlight is reflected from the road surface.

    Remember that EU regulations state that very dark sunglass tints should not be worn whilst driving at any time. For general daytime driving ask our colleagues in store to show you which tint options are suitable. Remember that tinted lenses should not be worn for night time driving.


    #BeLikeJeff and stay safe on the road

    If your prescription is out of date or you think it may have changed, #BeLikeJeff and book a free eye test at Tesco Opticians to make sure that you too can see the road safely and clearly.

    Click play on the video below to find out more about how you can #BeLikeJeff.


    For more information on eyesight requirements please visit the following websites:

    DirectGov: Driving eyesight rules
    Brake - The toad safety charity

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