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Home » What's New » How Vision Affects Driving

How Vision Affects Driving

Safety behind the wheel As a matter of fact, staying safe on the road needs a combination of a number of different visual abilities including distance and near vision, side or peripheral vision, night vision and color vision, to name a few.

Strong distance vision is crucial because it allows you to observe the stretch of road ahead and become aware of any risks that might come up. This gives you the opportunity to react early and prevent any mishaps that could take place. Alternatively, if you struggle with distance vision you might not see the dangers until it's too late.

Distance vision is also affected by the condition of your glasses and windshield, so check that both are kept very clean and scratch-free which can inhibit your vision, specifically at night and on bright days.

Equally as important is peripheral or side vision, which allows you see either side of your car, which is important to spot other cars, animals and pedestrians without having to even glance away from the road lying ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also crucial for changing lanes and turning. Maximize use of both your rearview and side mirrors. Ensure they're well-positioned, to help your view of the road to your sides and back.

Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. This helps you judge distances properly in dense traffic, change lanes and overtake other cars. Accurate depth perception calls for adequate sight in both of your eyes. If one lacks proper vision in one eye, it's important to consult with your eye doctor to determine if it is safe 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 the ability to accommodate instantly also plays an important role when driving. This is the ability to shift your focus from something far to something in front of you, for example, from the distance ahead of you to the dashboard. If you're over the age of 45 it's common for you to have trouble with near vision, and it might be helpful for you to get reading glasses or another vision correction solution to help you see your dashboard. Make an appointment with your eye doctor to talk about the options.

Strong color vision is also pretty important while driving. Those in the driver's seat need to be able to quickly see traffic lights, indicator signs and hazard signals. If you've got a color vision defect, your reaction time may be a little slower than that of others. If this is the case, avoid using medium or dark blue sunglasses, because these can seriously inhibit the ability to differentiate between colors.

At the first sign of vision problems, think about how it affects your ability to drive. You don't want to endanger your life or those of the others on the road! If you suspect your eyesight isn't perfect, visit your optometrist, and get a thorough eye exam as soon as you can.

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