Lorry drivers must meet stringent eyesight requirements with a medical and vision check required when they first apply for their HGV licence. They must then have the same checks every five years from the age of 45 and every year from the age of 60.
One of the best ways to test your own vision is by reading a vehicle number plate from 20 metres. Driving with eyesight below the required standard is an offence. Penalties include unlimited fines, disqualification, penalty points and even imprisonment.
A visual acuity of least 6/7.5** in your best eye – ability to see at 6 metres what somebody with normal vision can see from 7.5 metres – and at least 6/60*** in the other, as measured on the Snellen scale.
A field vision of at least 160° across the horizontal plane, with a left and right extension of at least 70° and 30° up and down.
No defects within the central 30° radius of your field of vision.
Jennifer Smith, Optometrist at Broadhurst Optometrists said
"Poor vision increases the risk of collisions due to the driver’s inability to recognise and react in time. Untreated eye conditions can occur gradually over time. In extreme cases, someone can lose up to 40% of their vision without being aware they have a problem. All adults especially drivers should have a sight test no fewer than every 2 years."
If you have an eye or medical condition, you must inform the DVLA. This includes conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
Once you have informed the DVLA of your condition, they may send you for a field-of-vision test. This involves lights being flashed at the edge of your vision to make sure you can see them. Blind spots in your vision can cause accidents.
For more information on driving eyesight rules, visit the Gov.uk website.