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Walk-Ins Welcome!

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Home » Our Blog » How Vision Affects Road Safety

How Vision Affects Road Safety

When driving, the value of seeing properly can not be underestimated. If you think about it, safety on the road requires a combination of a number of different visual capabilities including distance and near vision, side or peripheral vision, seeing in limited light and color vision, to name a few.

Being able to see well into the distance is vital because of how it allows you to scan the stretch of road in front and detect any dangerous things that might come up. Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to respond quickly and stop any mishaps that could take place. On the other hand, if you don't see ahead well you might not see the hazards in time to stop an accident.

Just as important is peripheral vision, which enables you see either side of your vehicle, which is important to spot other cars, animals and pedestrians without having to even glance away from the road ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also important when you're changing lanes and making turns. Make sure you know how to use your side and rearview mirrors. Make sure they're adjusted correctly, to enhance your side vision.

Road safety is also highly dependent on good depth perception. It helps you evaluate distances properly in crowded traffic, switch lanes and overtake other cars on the road. Strong depth perception needs proper functioning in both of your eyes. In cases of people that have lost vision in one eye, it's essential to consult with an eye doctor to determine if it is safe for you to drive. You may need to stop 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 on the road. Accommodating is the capability to move your focus from a view ahead to something near, for example, from the distance ahead of you to the speedometer. For those 45 or older you may have increasing difficulty with near vision, and it's normal to require glasses or some other corrective device to make it easier to see objects up close. Call your eye doctor to discuss the best option.

Color vision also comes into play on the road. Drivers need to be able to quickly recognize traffic lights, indicator signs and hazard lights. If you've got color blindness, reaction time could be a little slower than that of others. If this is the case, try not to use medium or dark blue sunglasses, as these can restrict your ability to discern colors.

At the first sign of a vision problem, think about how it affects your ability to drive. You can't afford to endanger your life or those of other people on the road! If you suspect your eyesight isn't perfect, make an appointment with your optometrist, and have a thorough eye exam as soon as you can.