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Importance of Regular Eye Tests for Drivers

Importance of Regular Eye Tests for Drivers

By on May 31, 2012 in Driver CPC, Driver Licensing, Driving For Work, Driving Lessons, Enforcement | 9 comments


New Visual Standards for Driving

In December 2010, the Road Safety Authority issued new visual standards for driving. This was widely welcomed by optometrists, eye specialists and other medical practitioners.

Learners – Full Licence Holders and those over 70

Those applying for the learner permit must now undergo more a comprehensive assessment of their visual ability and must have healthy eyes before getting their permit. Anyone who wears glasses or contact lenses must be re-tested when renewing their full licence usually about 10 years later.

Those who do not wear glasses will usually not have to be retested until age 70!

How often should your eyes be tested for driving?

Anyone who drives, particularly those who drive long distances for work should have eye tests every 2 years. Regular eye tests are vital not only to ascertain that your vision is up to standard but also to maintain your eyes’ health. Many eye diseases do not show any symptoms until they are quite advanced so by having regular check-ups, you ensure that any condition is treated immediately.

Not every driver has good vision!

Working as an optometrist (optician), I come across people every day who DO NOT reach the driving standard. It is frightening how many people are out there driving around with quite poor vision and seem to be totally oblivious to the fact. There is no legal requirement for regular eye tests but anyone who drives has a duty to make sure that their vision is good enough to drive not only for their own safety but also for the safety of other road users.

One thing to note is that the actual legal driving standard is surprisingly low and sometimes those who pass the test could still do with glasses for driving. Anyone who drives a lot or drives for work should get glasses to correct their distance even if it is just a small prescription, as it will help with driver fatigue and also improve reaction times. I would advise that you discuss with your optometrist at the time of testing whether a distance correction would be of benefit to you no matter how small the prescription is-getting them to show you the difference between wearing the glasses or not may help you with the decision.

Regular Eye Tests are important for drivers

Are you entitled to a free eye test?

Anyone who is employed for 5 years or more should have adequate PRSI cover for a free eye test every 2 years. To find out if you are covered, contact the opticians you wish to attend with your PPS number and they will check it out for you. Medical card holders are also entitled to a free eye test every 2 years. For those who do not have either type of cover, private eye test fees have dropped significantly in the past few years. Many opticians run promotions with eye tests for as little as €15-a small price to pay for safer roads!

Ailish O’ Hanlon FAOI is a Registered Optometrist at Eyedeal Opticians, located in Newpark Shopping Centre, Kilkenny. Ailish can be contacted for advice regarding eyesight tests, eye problems, frames, contact lenses etc at 056-7786754 and is more than happy to assist with your enquiries.




  1. Great information Ailish, many thanks for your post would love to have some more just like this. Ailish can be contacted at the address or phone number above and is highly recommended.


    May 31, 2012

  2. I was extremely pleased to acquire this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this great read!! I certainly enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to have a look at new stuff you weblog post.


    January 9, 2013

  3. i am happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. i always prefer to read the quality content and this thing i found in your post. thanks for sharing


    January 11, 2013

  4. i just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. i have added to my favourites. thank you.


    January 11, 2013

  5. great review here anyway thanks for posting a valuable one again…


    January 12, 2013

  6. Very informative post! It is the crying need of hour to aware people about eye care and its importance. For drivers, it is must to have regular eye examinations. Number of people, died in road accidents due to poor vision are increasing every year. This is a serious concern and need to be resolved as soon as possible.
    Supersavers Opticians in Dublin

    kety jomes

    February 27, 2013

  7. Your right people are dying every year and the rate of increase is rising which is worrying


    March 11, 2013

  8. Or you can see the local opticians in your area that way you would not just e getting a link back to your site but would still be giving out some good advice – be warned if you do this again you will be banned


    March 11, 2013

  9. Thanks for the comment kety yes the question does need to be resolved as soon as possible – but as regards statistics I don’t know of any that definitively can attribute poor eyesight to road crashes – so if you do post them here


    April 8, 2013


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