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How Vision Affects Driving

Proper eyesight is required for road safety. As a matter of fact, safe driving depends on a combination of a number of different visual capabilities – for example, being able to see both far ahead as well as your immediate surroundings, side or peripheral vision, night vision and color vision, just to name some examples.

Being able to see well into the distance is highly necessary because it allows you to observe the stretch of road in front of you and become aware of any dangers that might be present. Being able to see ahead allows you to act fast and avoid any accidents. On the other hand, if you don't see ahead well then there's a chance you may not be aware of the hazards until it's too late.

 

You also need peripheral or side vision, which enables you see to the sides of your vehicle, 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 crucial for changing lanes and making turns. Make sure you know how to use your side and rearview mirrors. Ensure they're angled properly, to help your side vision.

Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. This helps you judge distances properly in dense driving conditions, switch lanes and pass other cars on the road. Good depth perception calls for adequate sight in both eyes. If you've lost visual acuity in one eye, it's advised to consult with your eye doctor to determine whether 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 plays an important role while on the road. Accommodating is the ability to shift your focus from a view in the distance to something near, such as from the distance ahead of you to the dashboard. For those 45 or older it's common for you to have a slight challenge with near vision, and it's normal to require reading glasses or another vision correction solution to make it easier to see your dashboard. Call your optometrist to discuss the best option.

 

Don't wait until you renew or get your driver's license to get your eyes checked. You never want to risk your life or those of others on the road! If you feel your vision isn't up to par, see your optometrist, and get a proper eye exam right away.

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