There are two important components of vision that are essential for driving.
- Clear vision into the distance for reading signs and judging distances (visual acuity, measured with the letter chart test)
- Normal peripheral vision so you can detect what is going on around you whilst looking directly ahead (called visual field).
When you are first tested for your driving licence, your vision is tested to ensure you meet the standard. However when you move into middle-age and beyond, vision often deteriorates. However in Victoria, there is no compulsory testing of vision later in life.
This means there are many older drivers on the road whose vision is no longer good enough to drive. Perhaps surprisingly, these drivers are often unaware of the changes in their vision as it has changed so slowly as to be unnoticed. On closer questioning however, some will admit to experiencing difficulties with night driving or with reading signs until quite close.
If you are an older person and you haven’t had your eyes tested recently, ring to make an appointment on 03 9583 0855.