Excellent eyesight is required for road safety. As a matter of fact, staying safe on the road requires a combination of a number of different visual capabilities like the ability to see both near and far ahead, peripheral vision, seeing at night and color vision, plus many others.
Being able to see well into the distance is highly necessary because of how it allows you to evaluate the stretch of road ahead and become aware of any dangers that might come up. Being able to see ahead gives you more time to respond quickly and stop any accidents that might have otherwise taken place. Alternatively, if you don’t see ahead well you may not see hazards until it’s too late.
Distance vision is also influenced by the state of your windshield and glasses (including sunglasses), so ensure these are clean and clear of scratches and dust which can negatively affect your vision, specifically when it’s dark or sunny.
You also need peripheral vision, which allows you see both sides of your car, which is crucial to be aware of pedestrians, animals and cross traffic without having to look away from the road ahead. Being able to see peripherally is also important when switching lanes and making turns. Maximize use of both your side and rearview mirrors. Ensure they’re angled properly, to enhance your side vision.
Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. It helps you judge distances correctly in busy traffic, switch lanes and overtake other vehicles. Accurate depth perception requires adequate vision in both eyes. If you’ve lost visual acuity in one eye, it’s advised to consult with an optometrist to determine if it is okay for you to get behind the wheel. It may be suggested that you refrain from driving until your vision is corrected to achieve proper depth perception.
Near vision focusing or being able to accommodate instantly also keeps you in good stead while on the road. If you’re unfamiliar with the term accommodating, it is the ability to move your focus from a view in the distance to something near, such as from the distance ahead of you to the dashboard. If you’re over the age of 45 it’s common for you to have increasing difficulty with near vision, and you might need reading glasses or another vision correction solution to see your dashboard. Speak to your eye doctor to discuss the best option.
Being able to see color is also pretty important in the car. Those in the driver’s seat need to be able to instantly recognize traffic lights, road signs and warning lights. For those with a color vision defect, response time might be slower than normal. If this sounds familiar, it’s best not to wear medium or dark blue sunglasses, as these can seriously restrict your ability to identify colors.
At the first sign of a vision problem, think about how it affects your ability to drive. You can’t afford to endanger your own life or the lives of the others on the road! If you think your eyesight isn’t perfect, visit your optometrist, and have a proper eye exam as soon as you can.