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Motorists warned of deadly eye condition

by LLB Reporter
9th Oct 23 6:49 am

Astigmatism effects 40% of the UK population, many unaware of impact the condition has on night vision when driving and the  ability to perceive road signs, other vehicles, and potential hazards properly.

With the nights closing in experts are warning motorists experiencing difficulties with night vision to head to the opticians, or risk a £1000 fine and driving ban.

Motorists have been warned about a potentially dangerous eye condition that distorts vision and adversely affects night-time driving.

Motoring experts at LeaseCar say thousands of Brits could unknowingly have an eye condition which causes difficulties with vision at night posing a safety risk on the roads.

It is thought that as much as 40% of the adult population could be affected by Astigmatism, which occurs when either the eye’s cornea or the lens behind the cornea isn’t as round as it should be.

Astigmatism is an eye disorder which causes blurry or distorted vision, both close up and at a distance.

Research suggests the condition could be on the rise as overuse of electronic devices can both bring it on and make it worse.

Those who suffer from the condition commonly have a harder time seeing clearly at night because it increases sensitivity to glare and halos around lights, such as headlights or streetlights.

This can affect motorist’s ability to perceive road signs, other vehicles, and potential hazards as well as making it harder for them to detect subtle changes in the road.

The experts are calling on anyone who experiences difficulties with night vision and thinks they could have the condition to head to the opticians.

Not only does failing to address the condition increase the chance of causing an accident on the roads, but it could also lead to hefty fines and penalties for motorists.

If it is determined bad vision is a factor in a driving accident, motorists will be fined £1,000 and have three points on their licence if they had not notified the DVLA of their condition prior to the accident.

In more serious cases, failure to notify about vision loss or sight issues could even result in a driving ban.

Those with the condition may require glasses or contact lenses to correct it, but in more extreme cases doctors could need to use surgery to treat astigmatis.

The DVLA says motorists must wear glasses or contact lenses every time they drive if they need them to meet the ‘standards of vision for driving’.

Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uks aid: “It is extremely important that any motorists who think that they could have an eye condition get to the opticians and seek treatment.

“Common symptoms of Astigmatism include trouble seeing at night, blurry, hazy and double vision, as well as needing to squint to see clearly.

“With an estimated 40% of the adult population suffering from the condition, anyone with the symptoms should avoid driving until they have been checked out.

“It is very dangerous to drive with any condition which impairs vision as it puts the motorist and other road users at risk.

“The condition is particularly dangerous for drivers as the days get darker because it increases sensitivity to glare and halos around lights which affects being able to see the roads and potential obstacles.

“It is also important that the DVLA is made aware of any condition that affects the ability to drive safely because if a motorist is involved in an accident and it is found that the condition was a contributing factor, they could be prosecuted and their insurance invalidated.”

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