Your health can affect your driving, especially if your vision and eye health isn’t as good as it used to be.
Sure, there are vision checks when you renew your license, but for many drivers this is something that they only have to do every five years.
GEM chief executive David Williams warns that changes in vision can often be so slow and that we may not be aware of them.
“Our eyes are the most important sense we have when it comes to driving.
“Around 90% of the information we process is visual, so what we see is a fundamental element of our decision making. Many of us take our eyesight for granted, so the tendency is to ignore eye health.
“Changes in our vision can be slow, so we may not notice subtle differences. We are busy with work or family, we worry it could be expensive to have it checked, or maybe we’re afraid to acknowledge that a problem exists.
“Our eyes can develop diseases in their own right, or may be affected by other conditions such as diabetes.”
Five tips to encourage best possible eye health for drivers:
- Get an eye test. The guidelines are every two years until the age of 70, and annually after this.
- If you have been told you must wear glasses for driving, then make sure you wear them. Failure to do so not only puts you and those around you at higher risk, but it could also invalidate your insurance if you’re involved in a collision.
- Always carry a spare pair of glasses with you, especially on long journeys or when driving abroad. In some countries it’s a legal requirement and you can be fined if you do not carry the mandatory spare glasses.
- If driving at night is causing you discomfort, do get your eyes tested. A wide range of conditions and diseases, including cataracts, can contribute to poor night vision.
- Don’t deal with night-time glare by wearing sunglasses or tinted lenses. If glare is causing you discomfort, try adjusting the height of your seat, and make a point of not staring into the headlights of an oncoming car or truck.