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How Vision Affects Road Safety

One of the greatest necessities for road safety is, undeniably, good vision. Actually, safety on the road relies on several different visual capabilities including the ability to see both near and far ahead, side or peripheral vision, seeing at night and color vision, just to name some examples.

Strong distance vision is vital because of how it lets you observe the stretch of road ahead of you and become aware of any risks that might appear. Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to act fast and stop any accidents that might have otherwise taken place. Alternatively, if you lack strong distance vision you may not be able to see the hazards in time to stop an accident.

Distance vision is also affected by the state of your glasses and windshield, so make sure both are kept consistently clean and scratch-free which can negatively affect your vision, specifically when it’s dark or sunny.

You also need peripheral vision, which allows you to see the sides of your car, which is crucial to see pedestrians, animals and cross traffic without having to even glance away from the road ahead. Being able to see peripherally is also important when you’re switching lanes and making turns. Use your side and rearview mirrors. Check they’re well-positioned, to help your side vision.

Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. It lets you judge distances accurately in busy traffic, switch lanes and overtake other vehicles on the road. Accurate depth perception requires proper vision in both eyes. If you’ve lost visual acuity in one eye, it’s advised to consult with your optometrist to see if it is okay for you to drive. You may have to refrain from driving until your vision is corrected to achieve proper depth perception.

Accommodation also plays an important role on the road. This is the ability to shift your focus from a view far to something in front of you, such as from the road to the speedometer. If you’re over the age of 45 you may have increasing difficulty 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 optometrist to talk about the best option.

Being able to see color is also pretty important while driving. Drivers must be able to instantly identify traffic lights, road signs and hazard lights. For those with color blindness, your reaction time could be slower than people with regular vision. If this sounds familiar, it’s best not to wear medium or dark blue sunglasses, as these can restrict your ability to discern colors.

At the first sign of a vision problem, consider how it affects your ability to drive. You can’t afford to endanger your own life or the lives of other people on the road! If you think your vision isn’t adequate, see your eye doctor, and get a proper eye exam as soon as you can.