Inter Law – Need for driver eye tests pointed out by GEM

Need for driver eye tests pointed out by GEM – 07/09/2007Driver eyesight is a major factor behind how safe a motorist is on the road and needs to be tested more thoroughly, GEM Motoring Assist say.

Formerly known as the Guild of Experienced Motorists, the road safety experts label the current test – where a driver is merely asked to read a car number plate from 20 metres away – is “inadequate”, as it does not take into account the range of conditions which can afflict the eye.

The current test only checks the centre of the retina, and a full optician’s report submitted by each driver on being tested would much improve the situation, chief executive of GEM David Williams said.

“The test is not conducted with any degree of sophistication or the use of accurate measuring devices,” he added.

Easier Motoring also quotes optometrist Peter Charlesworth as saying that the effects of the ageing process on the eye must be drawn attention to.

“[You] may feel that they can see very well and that there is nothing wrong but there are areas that have gone black,” he added, pointing out that many stroke victims, for example, have significant blind spots which unconsciously affect visual perception.

“A simple test is to waggle your hands at your ears and if you see them with your peripheral vision then everything is fine. However, if you only see one hand it means you have a very large blind spot on one side,” he said.

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