Excellent vision is essential for road safety. As a matter of fact, road safety requires a number of visual abilities – for example, being able to see both far ahead as well as your immediate surroundings, peripheral vision, night vision and color vision, plus many others.
Strong distance vision is vital because of how it helps you to evaluate the stretch of road in front and detect any dangerous things that might be present. Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to respond quickly and stop any accidents. Alternatively, if you struggle with distance vision then there's a chance you might not be aware of dangers soon enough.
Equally as important is peripheral or side vision, which allows you see to the sides of your car, which is important to spot other cars, animals and pedestrians without having to look away from the road ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also important for switching lanes and turning. 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. It lets you evaluate distances properly in busy driving conditions, change lanes and pass other cars on the road. Good depth perception needs proper functioning in both of your eyes. If you've lost visual acuity in one eye, it's important to check with your optometrist to determine whether it is okay for you to get behind the wheel. You may have to refrain from driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.
Near vision focusing or being able to accommodate effectively also plays an important role when driving. Accommodating is the capability to move your focus from something far to something near, such as from the distance ahead of you to the speedometer. For those 45 or older you may have a slight challenge with near vision, and it's normal to require glasses or another vision correction solution to make it easier to see your dashboard. Call your eye doctor to talk about the best option.
Being able to see color is also pretty important while driving. Drivers need to be able to immediately recognize traffic lights, indicator signs and hazard lights. For those with color blindness, your response time could be a little slower than that of others. If this sounds familiar, try not to use medium or dark colored sunglasses, as these can seriously restrict your ability to differentiate between colors.
Try not to hold off until you renew or apply for your driver's license to have an eye exam. You can't afford to risk your own life or those of others on the road! If you feel your vision isn't adequate, visit your eye doctor, and get a thorough eye exam right away.