26 May 2020

The College issues advice on vision and driving

The College's advice on checking your eyesight safely.

It is every driver’s legal responsibility to ensure they are fit to drive. Government guidance says that a driver must inform the DVLA or DVA if they have a condition which might affect safe driving. Drivers must be able to read a number plate in good daylight at a distance of 20 metres and have binocular acuity of 6/12. They must also meet certain visual field requirements.

We strongly advise against taking a drive to test your eyesight. If you are concerned about your vision please contact your optometrist for advice. At the moment, optometrists are not open for routine eyecare because of the COVID-19 situation, but they are providing urgent or emergency and essential care. If you contact your optometrist they will discuss the issue with you and advise on the best course of action. They may ask you to come to their practice for an examination.  

Related further reading

This paper describes the common visual problems associated with learning disability in adult patients.

A snapshot of driver attitudes to requiring a vision check undertaken in a sample of 100 consecutive patients in optometry practice who held a driving licence.

This study reports on an audit carried out in the emergency eye care (EEC) service at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.