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How Vision Affects Road Safety

Safety behind the wheel In fact, staying safe on the road requires several different visual abilities including the ability to see both near and far ahead, side or peripheral vision, night vision and color vision, plus many others.

Distance vision is very important because it lets you observe the stretch of road in front and become aware of any dangers that might appear. This allows you to respond quickly and avoid any accidents that might have otherwise taken place. On the other hand, if your distance vision is poor then there's a chance you might not be able to see dangers until it's too late.

Distance vision is also affected by the state of your windshield and glasses (including sunglasses), so ensure these are kept very clean and scratch-free which can inhibit your sight, mostly when it's dark or sunny.

You also need peripheral or side vision, which allows you to see either side of your vehicle, which is crucial to spot pedestrians, animals and cross traffic without needing to even glance away from the road ahead. Being able to see peripherally is also important for switching lanes and turning. Maximize use of both your side and rearview mirrors. Make sure they're adjusted correctly, to help your side vision.

Road safety is also highly dependent on good depth perception. This allows you to evaluate distances properly in crowded driving conditions, change lanes and overtake other cars. Strong depth perception requires adequate sight in both of your eyes. In cases of people that have lost vision in one eye, it's essential to check with your eye doctor to determine if it is okay for you to drive. It may be suggested that you refrain from driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.

Accommodation also comes into use when driving. If you're unfamiliar with the term accommodating, it is the capability to shift your focus from something far to something close, like from the distance ahead of you to the dashboard. If you've recently hit middle-age you may have trouble with near vision, and it's normal to require glasses or another corrective device to see your dashboard. Speak to your optometrist to talk about 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 identify traffic lights, indicator signs and warning lights. For those with a color vision defect, your reaction time might be slower than normal. If this is the case, avoid using medium or dark blue sunglasses, as these can seriously restrict your ability to discern colors.

At the first sign of a vision problem, think about how it affects your ability to drive. You don't want to endanger your life or the lives of others on the road! If you feel your vision isn't up to par, make an appointment with your eye doctor, and get a proper eye exam as soon as you can.