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Home » What's New » How Vision Affects Driving

How Vision Affects Driving

Proper vision is necessary for safe driving. Actually, safety on the road depends on a combination of a number of different visual capabilities such as distance and near vision, side or peripheral vision, seeing at night and color vision, just to name some examples.

Being able to see well into the distance is very important because of how it helps you to evaluate the stretch of road in front of you and see any risks that might appear. Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to respond quickly and prevent any accidents. And on the flip-side, if you don't see ahead well you may not be able to see the hazards until it's too late.

You also need peripheral or side vision, which enables you to see to the sides of your car, which is crucial to be aware of pedestrians, animals and cross traffic without needing to even glance away from the road ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also crucial when you're switching lanes and making turns. Maximize use of your side and rearview mirrors. Make sure they're well-positioned, to enhance your view of the road to your sides and back.

Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. This allows you to judge distances properly in crowded driving conditions, change lanes and pass other cars on the road. Strong depth perception needs adequate sight in both eyes. In cases of people that have lost vision in one eye, it's advised to consult with your eye doctor to determine whether it is okay for you to get behind the wheel. It may be suggested that you refrain from driving until your vision is corrected to achieve proper depth perception.

Near vision focusing or the ability to accommodate properly also comes into use when driving. Accommodating is the capability to shift your focus from something ahead to something close, like from the distance ahead of you to the speedometer. For those 45 or older it's common for you to have trouble with near vision, and it might be helpful for you to get reading glasses or another corrective device to help you see your dashboard. Make an appointment with your eye doctor to talk about the best option.

It's best not to wait until you renew or apply for your driver's license to get your eyes checked. You can't afford to endanger your life or the lives of the others on the road! If you suspect your eyesight isn't adequate, visit your eye doctor, and get a thorough eye exam right away.