Eyesight and Safety on the Road
Excellent eyesight is essential for road safety. If you think about it, staying safe on the road depends on a combination of a number of different visual abilities including being able to see both far ahead as well as your immediate surroundings, side or peripheral vision, seeing at night and color vision, to name some examples.
Being able to see well into the distance is highly necessary because of how it lets you evaluate the stretch of road in front of you and detect any danger that might come up. Being able to see ahead gives you a chance to act fast and stop any accidents that might have otherwise taken place. On the other hand, if you lack strong distance vision then there's a chance you may not be aware of the hazards until it's too late.
You also need peripheral vision, which enables you to see both sides of your car, which is crucial to be aware of other cars, animals and pedestrians without having to even glance away from the road lying ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also important for switching lanes and making turns. Use your side and rearview mirrors. Check they're adjusted correctly, to assist your view of the road to your sides and back.
Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. This lets you measure distances properly in busy driving conditions, switch lanes and overtake other vehicles on the road. Good depth perception calls for adequate sight in both eyes. In cases of people that have lost vision in one eye, it's essential to check with your eye doctor to determine whether it is okay for you to drive. It may be suggested that you refrain from driving until your vision is corrected to achieve proper depth perception.
Accommodation also comes into use on the road. This is the ability to shift your focus from something 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 trouble with near vision, and you might need reading glasses or another corrective device to see your dashboard. Speak to your optometrist to talk about the options.
Color vision also comes into play in the car. Drivers must be able to immediately see traffic lights, indicator signs and warning signals. For those with color blindness, reaction time may be slower than people with regular vision. If this sounds familiar, try not to use medium or dark colored sunglasses, because these can seriously interfere with your ability to identify colors.
At the first sign of vision problems, think about how it affects your ability to drive. You can't afford to endanger your own life or those of other people on the road! If you suspect your vision isn't perfect, see your eye doctor, and have a thorough eye exam sooner rather than later.