Should I Drive if I am Concerned about my Eyesight?

In my role as a personal injury solicitor I specialise in assisting HGV drivers following accidents they have had while driving or while loading and unloading. Existing and previous clients will often call me with general legal queries they may have, and I am happy to assist wherever I can. One called recently about a story in the press, you have no doubt heard about, and what the correct thing to do is, if you are concerned about whether your eyesight is good enough to drive on a long journey.

The first thing I would advise to do in normal circumstances would be to arrange an eye test. As that is unlikely to be possible in the current climate I would suggest that if at all possible you should see if there was anyone else available, possibly your partner to drive instead of you. If this is not possible, I would advise strongly against driving a vehicle to test whether your vision was good enough, and certainly not on a 60 mile round trip; your vision is either good enough to drive or its not, and if it is not, you are putting your own and other’s lives at risk by driving.

The answer, as with most things driving related, lies in the Highway Code, which states that to drive you must be able to read a number plate from a distance of 20 metres. This can be done wearing glasses or contact lenses. So, if you can read a number plate, in daylight, from this distance, your vision is considered good enough to drive. This of course is done at the start of your driving test. I think we would all agree that this is a much safer option than driving 60 miles to test your vision.