Road Safety Week is an event that occurs each year in November. The aim of the week, started in 1997 by Brake, is to inspire individuals, organisations, and communities to take action on road safety.
Each year there is a different road safety theme, with the focus this year being on speed. Speed is an important factor in road safety and unfortunately someone is injured on a road in the UK every 4 minutes. Whilst driving at a safe speed is important to keep ourselves and others safe, it is also incredibly important to make sure your vision meets driving standards.
In 2017 the Association of Optometrists launched their ‘Don’t Swerve a Sight Test’ campaign. This campaign was designed to encourage all drivers to have regular sight tests and ensure their vision meets the driving vision standards set by the DVLA.
This year the AOP have chosen to focus their ‘Don’t Swerve a Sight Test’ campaign on driving safely in the dark. As the clocks have now gone back, drivers may find themselves navigating the roads in the dark. There are many accidents that occur at night, with poor and reduced vision being a major factor in these statistics. It has been estimated that 5 million routine sight tests have been missed due to lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic. Poor eye health can have a significant effect on your ability to drive, especially at night.
Keeping up with regular eye examinations will allow our optometrists to assess your vision and ensure it is corrected to the highest standard and meets driving requirements. Using our high-tech equipment, we are also able to assess the health of the eye and identify a range of eye conditions in their earliest stages that could affect your vision.
Choosing the right lenses for your glasses can also improve visibility when driving at night. There are many different types of lenses available depending on the needs of the wearer, along with various types of lens coatings. For drivers who wear spectacles, it is advised to have lenses with an anti-reflective coating. This will help to reduce reflections and glare that are particularly distracting such as wet roads and headlights when driving at night.
Along with keeping up to date with your eye examinations and updating your spectacles as advised, there are other ways to keep safe when driving in the dark.
- Make sure your windscreen is clean inside and out. A dirty screen can cause glare and reduce visibility.
- Check your headlights, make sure they are both working and that they are clean. The brightness and range of your lights can be reduced.
- If you can, dim your dashboard and satnav screen. Bright lights inside the car can hinder your vision.
- Do not drive if you feel tired. Fatigue could be a contributory factor in up to 20% of road accidents so make sure you are well rested and take plenty of breaks if it is a long journey.
If you feel your vision has changed, or you have missed an appointment due to lockdown, please contact your local Eye Place today and book an eye examination.