UK's driving vision test 'does not take into account night-time motoring'

11 April 2012

People who have managed to pass the motor vehicle administration's vision test may still not be safe behind the wheel.

This is after new research carried out by the School of Optometry and Vision Science and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology found that the vision exam may not be proving effective when it comes to driving at night.

According to the study, drivers with some level of blurred vision and cataracts saw the frequency and distance of their vision dramatically reduce when behind the wheel under the glare of the moonlight.

As part of the research, drivers with blurred vision said that they only recognized pedestrians 52.1 per cent of the time that they were monitored. This dropped to 29.9 per cent of the time when those with cataracts were studied.

The research's author Joanne Wood commented: "It is possible that measuring only visual acuity does not provide us with the best way to determine who is safe to drive."

Current driving law requires a motorist to read a clean number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres when in good daylight.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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