No one would disagree with the statement that ‘good drivers need good vision.’

This is why before you even start your driving test your driving examiner will check that you can ‘pass the number plate test’.

    • However reading a number plate at 20.5 metres is only part of your visual fitness to drive. The number plate test is a measure of your visual acuity – that is your ability to see small details at a distance using the central part of your visual field.

When driving you need to be constantly aware of what is changing off to your right and left to do this you use your peripheral vision.

    • During the course of your test your examiner will be continually assessing how visually aware you are that is how well you use the information seen with your peripheral vision.

When you are distracted for any reason, whether due to the stress of taking your driving test, talking on a mobile phone or simply singing along to music your mind will be distracted and you will find it harder to focus on

    • your driving skills

    • your awareness of what you are seeing

    • and deciding what actions you need to take.

Your central vision may need to be improved by wearing up-to-date glasses or contact lenses and this may also help your peripheral vision, but your peripheral awareness may benefit from some eye exercises.

Too much time spent on computers can result in psychological ‘tunnel vision’ but if you go to www.eyecanlearn.com , you will find a variety of eye exercises that have been designed to help improve visual awareness or perception. These have been designed for young children but are suitable for all ages and are fun to do – and may help you to pass your driving test and be a better, safer driver.

    • Most experienced drivers believe that they are good drivers.

    • Most drivers believe that they can see clearly enough to be a safe driver.

    • You owe it to your self to maintain your visual fitness to drive.

Once you have passed your test it is your responsibility to make sure that both your driving and your driving vision is the best it can be.

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