Saturday 16 December 2017

Eye Health: Eyes on the road

Good vision is vital and nowhere does it matter more than behind the wheel

Library Image. Photo: Getty Images
Library Image. Photo: Getty Images

Ireland’s wet weather and winding rural roads present a challenge for drivers, especially those with poor eyesight. The loss of just a second’s braking time can make the difference between a safe journey and an accident.

Help us to make our roads safer:


20 percent of drivers can't see properly at night. If you think you may have a problem, ask your optician.

The Association of Optometrists Ireland recommends that you have your eyes checked at least every two years - and more often when your optometrist advises. Certain patients, such as diabetics, should have an annual eye examination. At Specsavers, you will only ever be examined by a fully qualified optometrist; or an undergraduate in their final year, under supervision. As locally-run opticians, we are passionate about bringing on home-grown talent.


Make sure your lenses are clean before you drive.

Some frame styles are better for driving than others. For example, thin rims and high sides improve all round vision.

Always carry a spare pair of glasses or lenses with you, especially on long journeys or when driving abroad.

Plastic or polycarbonate lenses are less likely than glass to shatter in an accident.


An anti-reflection coating reduces headlight reflections and allows clearer vision in poor light conditions.

Polarising lenses reduce glare, making them ideal for driving in bright daylight. Never wear them - or sunglasses - in low visibility or at night.

Ask your optician about Specsavers Ultradrive lenses, available in two versions – for day or night driving.

Never wear yellow tinted glasses at night. They darken shadows and make it difficult to see cyclists and pedestrians.

If you wear bifocals or varifocals, ask your optician to recommend the most suitable lens design for driving.


Always wear your glasses or contact lenses if you need them for driving. If you don't, you're breaking the law and endangering others.

Always drive with your headlights on and keep them clean, at full strength and adjusted so they don't dazzle other road users.

Keep your windscreen clean and windscreen wipers in good order.

Rest your foot on the brake when you are stopped at traffic lights. Your brake lights may save you from being hit from behind.

To book an eye test online visit or check the golden pages for your nearest store.

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