Excellent eyesight is required for safe driving. As a matter of fact, road safety depends on a combination of a number of different visual capabilities – for example, distance and near vision, side or peripheral vision, seeing in limited light and color vision, just to name some examples.
Being able to see well into the distance is very important because of how it allows you to scan the road ahead and see any dangers that might be present. Most importantly, it allows you to respond quickly and stop any accidents that might have otherwise taken place. And on the flip-side, if you struggle with distance vision then there's a chance you may not be able to see hazards soon enough.
Just as important is peripheral or side vision, which allows you see either side of your vehicle, which is important to see other cars, animals and pedestrians without having to even glance away from the road lying ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also crucial when you're changing lanes and turning. Make sure you know how to use both your rearview and side mirrors. Make sure they're well-positioned, to assist your view of the road to your sides and back.
Road safety is also highly dependent on good depth perception. This helps you measure distances accurately in dense driving conditions, switch lanes and overtake other cars on the road. Accurate depth perception requires proper functioning in both of your eyes. If you've lost visual acuity in one eye, it's essential to consult with your optometrist to determine whether it is safe for you to drive. It may be suggested that you stop driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.
Near vision focusing or being able to accommodate instantly also comes into use when driving. If you're unfamiliar with the term accommodating, it is the ability to move your focus from something far to something near, for example, from the road to the speedometer. If you're over the age of 45 you might have a slight challenge with near vision, and it's normal to require reading glasses or another corrective device to help you 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 driving must be able to immediately recognize traffic lights, street signs and warning signals. If you've got color blindness, your response time may be slower than that of others. If this is the case, try not to use medium or dark blue sunglasses, because these can inhibit your ability to discern colors.
At the first sign of a vision problem, consider how it affects your ability to drive. You don't want to risk your own life or the lives of others on the road! If you think your vision isn't adequate, make an appointment with your optometrist, and get a thorough eye exam right away.