Keep an eye on your vision

Posted on: 21 January 2019

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Driving during the winter months can be challenging as the darker mornings and early evenings may make it more difficult to see clearly. Additionally, glare from the low sun can reduce visibility, as can rain and fog. All of these factors make driving more hazardous at this time of year, and even more so if you have issues with your eyesight.

Eyesight deteriorates over time and it's recommend that all drivers have their eyes tested at least every two years. All drivers must be able to meet the standards of vision for driving, as outlined on the 'Driving eyesight rules' page on GOV.UK. Consequently, fleet operators and others that are responsible for workers who drive as part of their job must be proactive about getting proof that they have had their sight checked.

If a driver has a problem with their eyesight, that isn't short- or long-sightedness or colour blindness, then the DVLA must be informed.

The rules for individuals who drive buses and/or lorries are stricter than for those who don't. Anyone who drives a bus or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) is required to inform the DVLA if they have a health condition in either eye, whereas those who just drive a car (for example) may not need to if only one eye is affected by a condition and the other eye meets the standards of vision for driving.

Optical health conditions that the DVLA usually need to be informed about include:

Anyone who is unsure whether a health condition could affect their (or their employees') driving should check to see if it's in the list on the DVLA website and, if it is, click through to see what they need to do. If the condition doesn't appear on the list, but they're still unsure, they should speak to their doctor.