Eye Care on The Go
When driving, the need for seeing properly can not be underestimated. As a matter of fact, safety on the road requires a number of visual capabilities including distance and near vision, peripheral vision, seeing at night and color vision, just to name some examples.
Strong distance vision is vital because of how it lets you scan the stretch of road in front of you and see any dangerous things that might be present. Being able to see ahead gives you more time to respond quickly and stop any accidents. Alternatively, if your distance vision is poor then there's a chance you may not be able to see the hazards soon enough.
Distance vision is also directly related to the maintenance of your windshield and glasses (including sunglasses), so check that these are consistently clean and clear of both dust and scratches which can negatively affect your vision, specifically when it's dark or sunny.
Equally as important is peripheral or side vision, which allows you see both sides of your car, which is important to see other cars, animals and pedestrians without needing to even glance away from the road lying ahead. Being able to see peripherally is also important when switching lanes and turning. Make sure you know how to use both your side and rearview mirrors. Check they're well-positioned, to assist your view of the road to your sides and back.
Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. It allows you to judge distances accurately in busy driving conditions, change lanes and pass other vehicles on the road. Good depth perception needs adequate vision in both of your eyes. In cases of people that have lost vision in one eye, it's advised to consult with an optometrist to see whether it is safe for you to drive. You may need to refrain from driving until your vision is corrected to achieve proper depth perception.
Near vision focusing or being able to accommodate effectively also keeps you in good stead while on the road. Accommodating is the ability to shift your focus from a view in the distance to something close, like from the road to the speedometer. For those 45 or older you might have a slight challenge with near vision, and you might need reading glasses or some other corrective device to help you see your dashboard. Call your eye doctor to talk about the options.
Being able to see color also comes into play in the car. Those driving must be able to quickly identify traffic lights, road signs and hazard signals. If you've got color blindness, your response time may be a little slower than that of others. If this is the case, try not to use medium or dark colored sunglasses, because these can seriously interfere with the 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 risk your life or the lives of the others on the road! If you think your eyesight isn't perfect, see your eye doctor, and have a thorough eye exam right away.