Eyesight & hearing

It’s a known fact that eyesight and hearing deteriorate gradually with age. This could affect your ability and fitness to drive.

Deterioration can be so gradual that you don’t even notice, and you may think your vision is as good as when you first started to drive.

Things to look out for are:

  • Impaired night vision – you find it more difficult to see when driving at night.
  • Your eyes take longer to recover from the glaring lights of other cars.
  • You can’t read a number plate from 20.5 metres (67 feet) away.

If you notice any of the above then it is likely that your eyesight has deteriorated and you may need glasses or contact lenses or, if you already wear glasses or contact lenses, your eyesight may have changed.

By having regular eyesight checks, any changes in your eyesight will be detected and you will get early warning of medical conditions that can affect your fitness to drive, such as cataracts, glaucoma and diabetes.

As an older driver you should:

    • Get your eyes tested regularly.
    • Get your hearing checked; uncorrected hearing problems could mean that you can’t hear emergency vehicles or other motorists warning you of potential hazards.
    • Slow down if dazzled by headlight glare and blink to re-focus your eyes.
    • Make sure that you wear glasses or contact lenses if you need them to drive.
    • Wear a hearing aid whilst driving, if you need one.
    • Ask your doctor whether you need to report any medical conditions to the DVLA.

Remember, if you are involved in an incident, even if it isn’t your fault, your insurance will be at risk if you are unable to pass an eyesight test.