The Association of Optometrists (AOP) in the UK called on motorists to get extensive eye tests done periodically to ensure that their vision still meets the legal standard. Normally, our vision is checked before we take our driving tests but few bother to take vision tests on a regular basis.
According to an article in AutoExpress, this can have a significant impact on the safety of other road users. The AOP recommends that vision tests should be taken every ten years , while drivers who are on the road after crossing the age of 70 should do this on a more regular basis.
In order to be deemed as fit to drive, motorists should be able to read a number plate from a distance of 20 meters. If a driver feels that his eyesight is failing to meet this minimum requirement, as a responsible road user, he should get his vision tested and wear the appropriate corrective eyewear that is needed for driving safely.
AOP recently published a survey which indicated that as many as 44 percent of optometrists have tested patients who say that they have driven even though their eyesight fails to meet the legal limit. This could be attributed to the fact that many people experience changes in vision gradually and hence fail to realize that their vision could affect their own safety and that of other road users. Research by Optical Express indicated that three in five of those who wear contact lenses or glasses drive without the correct eyewear. That is as high as 60 percent.
According to the BBC, The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) recently conducted a survey which found that 50 per cent of drivers were not even aware of the minimum eyesight standards needed to drive legally, with over half of the motorists participating in the survey failing to check their vision on a regular basis.
Though it is recommended that you visit an optician to get the most accurate idea about your vision, one thumb rule is that you should be able to stand about 20 meters, or about five car lengths from a vehicle and be able to read its number plate.
Motorists who are not able to do this even partially definitely need to get a proper test done and use corrective eyewear. People older than 70 years of age should get tests more regularly.
The UK has now made vision requirements very stringent with thousands of motorists who fail to meet the minimum vision standards having their driving licenses revoked and getting an instant ban. Police are now conducting random spot-checks and those caught not wearing the correct eyewear will not be able to drive again.
Given the high rate of accidents in Dubai, maybe we should also follow this example.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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