Vision and driving advice issued

In support of Road Safety Week, the College of Optometrists has offered tips for driving during the winter months

Car driving in snow

The College of Optometrists has issued advice to drivers as part ofRoad Safety Week, which took place from 20–26 November.

To mark the awareness campaign, the College is encouraging drivers to ensure that their vision is up to standard before getting behind the wheel.

Clinical advisor for the College, Dr Susan Blakeney, said: “Having good vision is an important part of responsible driving.”

Dr Blakeney highlighted research published last year by the College, which looked at contributory factors for over a million collisions.

“This found that car drivers aged over 60 were more likely to be involved in a crash where a contributory factor was ‘uncorrected, defective eyesight,’ and that this contributory factor increased with age,” Dr Blakeney said.

“The research also found that ‘dazzling sun’ was a significant issue for older drivers, so we always advise that you have a pair of sunglasses to hand in your car,” she added.  

Car driving in snow

The College’s advice highlighted longer and darker nights in winter as a risk factor when driving. It said that pupils are larger in the dark than in daylight, and that a person’s depth of field decreases when pupils are large, with blurriness becoming more noticeable.

Further advice includes being prepared for low-lying sun on icy roads by ensuring that car windscreens are clean, both inside and out.

The College added that it is necessary to check that spectacles are up to date so that vision is as clear as it can be.