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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Lloyd

How Having Bad Eyesight Could Cost You Your Driving Licence

While having 50/50 vision means that you should be able to drive a car without crashing inadvertently into a tree, what will happen if you are found to have the kind of eyesight which means that you have difficulty even seeing your own arm and hand when it is stretched out in front of you?

Lloyds Driver Training - Eye Test

For motorists in the UK, there may be severe consequences if it is discovered that you have been driving from behind the wheel with limited vision. When it comes to being in the driver’s seat in a vehicle, your eyesight must meet a certain standard for driving, with the DVLA stating that drivers must wear glasses or contact lenses every time they drive if they have a known issue with their eyesight.

Standards of vision for driving

The requirement in being able to clearly see when behind the wheel is called ‘standards of vision for driving’ which states that ‘all drivers of motor cars must be able to read a standard number plate, in good daylight, from a distance of twenty metres. However, if you do find it hard in seeing from a distance you must contact the DVLA immediately.

What will happen if I fall under the standards of vision for driving?

Drivers can be fined up to £1,000 if they don’t inform the DVLA about poor eyesight and inadequate vision before they get in front of a wheel. Police often make routine checks in suspicion of motorists who they believe may have poor vision and as a result can conduct a roadside eye test.

What else can occur if I drive a vehicle under the standards of vision for driving?

It isn’t just the prospect of a hefty fine that drivers must contend with, as motorists who are found to be driving under the standards of vision for driving may also find themselves in the situation of having their driving licence removed from them rendering them unable to legally drive. According to statistics from DLVA and requested on behalf of Insurer Direct Line, there were 19,644 individual cases in the UK in which drivers had their licence taken away from them because of inadequate eyesight.

Will I fail my driving test if I have poor vision?

While drivers can find themselves with a hefty fine if they are found driving with inadequate vision, those who are learning to drive may also find themselves being failed by their driving instructor for being unable to read a clean number plate from a distance of 20 metres.


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