What single most part of the body is the most important when driving? Quite simply this award goes to the eyes. Just think about it, if you haven’t seen a hazard / road sign etc how can you expect your hands / feet to steer or brake to deal with it?
So taking in the short statement above why on earth do most drivers ignore the condition of their eyes and therefore put themselves and other road users in unnecessary danger?
When do most people start to worry about their eyes if driving isn’t the main priority?
Just how many people understand just how dangerous this could be when driving. Lets look at each of the above problems.
Struggling reading – If you struggle to read a book or newspaper when sitting comfortably in your living room, how can you expect to read a road sign travelling in excess of 30mph?
All of the main driving guidelines say you should take a break from driving after a couple of hours. However you are thinking of starting a journey, already at an alertness disadvantage.
How do you feel when you have a headache? irritable, tired, ? Ask yourself are these really the best personal conditions to start a journey from the driver seat.
History of the current driving eye sight check.
The current eye sight check for drivers has remained unchanged since its inception in the 1930′s. Ask yourself the following question, has driving changed since the 1930′s? I think you will find it most certainly has, we have more road signs to read, more drivers and other road users to identify and deal with. I wonder if the qualifying criteria for being a plumber, electrician, nurse or doctor has changed since the 1930′s.
FACT – If you are a class 2 driver PCV, LCV, HGV from the age of 45 you have to renew your licence (inclusive of eye site check and further medical) every 5 years up to the age of 65, where it is then renewable every year. However it is OK to transport your family, children, friends etc with just one check on the day you pass your driving test, which for some is over 50/60 years ago?
The DSA eye test is non-negotiable, even a letter from your optician stating that you have perfect eye sight will not overturn the examiners decision, if you can’t read that number plate, then that’s it test over and a “unsuccessful” driving test is recorded. What absolute and utter garbage that is, how does reading a number plate from a recognised distance really say your eye sight is good enough to drive? It’s a bit like saying if you can change a plug on a lamp or kettle that makes you a qualified electrician. Reading this next excerpt from “The Independent” proves that this part of the driving test is actually quite pointless and a more independent assessment is required.
David was an enthusiastic Motor Bike Rider aged just 24...
“Nothing in life prepares you for finding out that you are going blind. I had no idea there was any problem with my eyesight until I casually mentioned to my optician, at a routine sight test, that I struggle to see in the dark. She made a detailed examination of my eyes and said nothing, but I knew from the look on her face that she had seen something ominous. I was told to go back the following day for a visual fields test. This assesses peripheral vision, and involves staring at a central dot of light inside a darkened box and pressing a button each time you catch a glimpse of another dot of light, away from the centre point. I waited and waited, staring into blackness, detecting no flashes until the final stages of the test. My heart sank; I knew something was seriously wrong. The optician’s verdict began with those fateful words that only ever preface truly awful news: “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but…”
Sorry to tell me that my peripheral vision does not meet the standard required for driving. How did this happen? One minute, I’m happily reading the optician’s test chart to confirm, as usual, that my mild short-sightedness hasn’t got any worse, the next I’m losing my driving licence and my life is in disarray. It doesn’t get a lot worse than this, I thought. I was wrong. Full story here
Lets now take a look at your general health and well-being. As a driver has their been any changes in your health since you passed your driving test? For some this may be a matter of days, for others this could be many years. But think about it if you have passed your test over 10-15 years ago it is possible that some form of health problem has occurred and you have been to the doctor who has hopefully sorted it all out for you, so what about your eyes? Have they been checked ? Are they still good enough to pass the driving test standard ? If not WHY ARE YOU STILL DRIVING????
Heres a quick test : can you comfortably read the times on a bus lane sign (10 metres before you get to it) at 30mph? If not please think about getting your sight checked.
If reading the above has not convinced you to make an appointment with your local optician the least you can do is visit the web site below and check your own eye sight.
and……… if that was ok why not take the following test? Click here
In closing this article surely its time that all relevant authorities got together and came up with some plan to ensure that every driver on our roads is in good health and not just driving on instinct or because they have simply got by accident free for the past few years.