Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 12°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Blog: When it becomes clear you need an eye test

09:55 17 January 2016

Eyesight deteriorates gradually so many drivers do not realise they need glasses or contact lenses.

Eyesight deteriorates gradually so many drivers do not realise they need glasses or contact lenses.

With calls for eye tests every 10 years for drivers, motoring editor Andy Russell tells of how he realised he needed glasses.

I can read a vehicle number plate at 20 metres without my glasses so, if I didn’t know better, in theory I can drive without them.

But, having worn glasses all my waking hours for the best part of 25 years, I wouldn’t dream of getting behind the wheel without them. It would be like not wearing a seat belt, except without my glasses it wouldn’t just be myself I was putting at risk but everyone else on the road... and probably the pavement too.

A gradual, natural deterioration of your eyesight can just creep up on you but there comes a time when you can’t ignore the warning signs that you can’t see as well as you used to.

Road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is calling for compulsory detailed eyesight testing for all drivers every 10 years. It says the ‘number plate’ eyesight test is outdated and drivers don’t legally have to get their sight checked until they are 70 and renew their licence.

I can still remember when I realised I needed glasses for driving and, at the time, it came as a shock.

I was on the launch of the second-generation Rover 800 partnered with a regular co-driver motoring hack in the passenger seat. I could see perfectly well as far as I was concerned – after all, I have my eyes tested every couple of years.

We were on roads I did not know and the co-driver asked why I slowed down every time I approached one of those big direction signs – even though I was within the speed limit – and then accelerated again. I’m surprised I did not have a vehicle behind running into the back of my car given that I was slowing down for what appeared to be no reason.

It got me thinking and made me realise that the reason I had to slow down was to have long enough to read the sign when it was clear enough having come within my range of vision.

I wasn’t due an eye test, but went for one anyway, and found I was borderline for needing glasses for driving instead of only for reading and working on a computer.

With a new prescription I started wearing glasses for reading and the benefits really were clear to see. It wasn’t until I started to do so that I realised what a difference they made.

Not only could I read road signs further away, so no longer needed to slow down, but brake lights in the distance appeared much sharper and no longer slightly blurred and ‘starry’ so I could plan and react earlier. Driving at night or in poor visibility, such as when it was raining, was much easier too.

I had an early start at work this week so was driving in the dark. I was in a queue of traffic trundling along behind a car travelling at 35 to 40mph on unlit roads but they went up to 50mph whenever there were street lights, before slowing again.

It made me think they might need their eyes tested. I did and I never looked back.

Did you have a shock which made you realise you could not see properly to drive? Email motoring@archant.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Director Helen Wheatley and members of the UCS choir at rehearsals.

Singing out for a very good cause in Ipswich

An East Anglian Air Ambulance and a land ambulance at the park in Dumbarton Road in Ipswich on Bank Holiday Monday morning.

A man is in hospital after being found unconscious in Ipswich this morning.

The Teapot at Mcginty's Ipswich. Junk Food cafe run by Mischa Pearson and voulnteers.
Pictured Sarah sharlott, kath gosling, mischa Pearson, Adam Ferguson, Anna engstrom

An award-winning pay-what-you-feel cafe which supports dozens of homeless and vulnerable people in Ipswich has been given just three weeks to find a new base.

Wayne Bavin from Town 102 with the winners of Home-Start's competition to win tickets for the ball, Melissa and Jim Craig

An charity ball raised £4,000 for family-focused projects in the region.

Prime Minister David Cameron makes a joint appearance with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (centre) as they launch the Britain Stronger in Europe guarantee card.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer has welcomed the launch of a new pledge card unveiled by leaders of the “Stronger In” campaign in a bid to keep Britain in the European Union after this month’s referendum.

The Ipswich Foyer in Star Lane.

A petition to save a centre that acts as a lifeline to vulnerable young homeless people in Ipswich has attracted more than 1,000 signatures in just four days.

Classic car event on the seafront at Aldeburgh. Frank Cox next to a 1964 Hillman Super Minx.

More than 50 classic vehicles were on display along the Aldeburgh seafront today.

Former Blues and England skipper Terry Butcher opens Bawdsey village fete and dog show.

Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher was on hand to open a village fete in Suffolk yesterday.

Ipswich woman Roseanne Oakley, who has been jailed for five years for stealing £105,000 from a vulnerable Essex woman

An Ipswich woman has been sentenced to five years in jail for exploiting a vulnerable 69-year-old from Essex and stealing her £105,000 life savings.

Jasmine Nicholls (left) and Klaudia Sokolowska

Two teenage girls from the Lowestoft area have been reported missing to the police.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24