Motorists making costly sunglasses mistake when driving, risking large fines

It is not only eye health that is being put at risk in sunny conditions, motorists are risking lives by getting behind the wheel without appropriate eyewear on sunny days. Over half a million Brits swap their prescription lenses for ordinary sunglasses when driving in sunny conditions. This means that these drivers would fail the legal government 'standards of vision for driving' test and be prosecuted for dangerous driving.

Dangerous driving can carry a fine of up to £2,500 in the UK which means that this simple oversight could be incredibly costly.

A further half a million road users in the UK don’t wear their prescribed lenses when driving in sunny weather and don’t wear prescribed sunglasses or sunglasses, posing an additional hazard because not only can they not see sufficiently but they risk being dazzled by the sun, especially as the days grow shorter and more people travel with the sun low in the sky.

All road users should wear appropriate eye protection and prescribed lenses including prescription sunglasses whilst driving or riding. If people cannot see to drive or ride safely, either through not wearing the correct prescription lenses or not wearing sunglasses to protect from glare, they can potentially pose a real danger to both themselves and everyone else using the roads.

Advice for motorists:

  • Think carefully about the sunglasses you drive in – is the tint too dark to offer good visibility are the frames designed so you can still use your peripheral vision?
  • Eyesight can deteriorate without noticing, it is recommended everyone has a professional eye test at least every two years, or immediately if a problem arises
  • Always wear the correct prescribed lenses whilst driving, and in the sun, wear prescription sunglasses
  • Consider wearing sunglasses when driving on a bright day – they protect against glare and can protect against too much light reaching the retina, which can cause squinting that is known to cause headaches.
  • Keep a spare pair of sunglasses in the car – even on winter days there can be significant glare

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