The clocks have gone back once again – the days are getting shorter and the mornings and evenings are becoming darker. For hauliers and commercial drivers, however, the working hours remain the same meaning more time is being spent driving in the dark.
Low light conditions can have an effect on depth perception, distinguishing colour and reduced peripheral vision. While streetlamps and headlights help us to see as much of the road as possible, too much artificial light can eventually be detrimental to our eyesight.
Advice for drivers
It’s common for our eyesight to become slightly worse over time and some of us can be more affected than others. Having regular sight tests – at least once every two years – is strongly advised, as any changes in vision are often so gradual, they can easily go unnoticed.
Avoiding glare and reflections is important to reduce eye strain and fatigue. There are various things you can do in your our cab, like dimming dashboard lights and ensuring windscreens and mirrors are kept clean from dirt, dust and condensation. However, it’s also necessary to be aware of oncoming motorists with strong headlights. Divert your gaze and keep your eyes moving to scan your whole field of vision.
Notes for employers
Employers have a responsibility to make sure that the health and safety of their employees is guaranteed when carrying out work activities. When dealing with multiple drivers across fleet operations, eye care should be one of the fundamental aspects of your healthcare policy, which you will need to keep up-to-date and communicate effectively.
Providing free or discounted sight tests as a healthcare benefit of your company is a good way to ensure that your workforce can comfortably work their regular hours, however dark the winter days get. After all, the more time spent on the roads in low light conditions, the more important it is to maintain eye care.