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How Vision Affects Road Safety

When on the road, the value of seeing properly can not be underestimated. As a matter of fact, safe driving needs a number of visual abilities - for example, being able to see both far ahead as well as your immediate surroundings, side or peripheral vision, night vision and color vision, plus many others.

Being able to see well into the distance is very important because of how it lets you evaluate the stretch of road ahead and see any dangers that might appear. Most importantly, it gives you more time to act fast and stop any accidents that might have otherwise taken place. On the other hand, if your distance vision is poor then there's a chance you may not be aware of the hazards in time to stop an accident.

You also need peripheral vision, which allows you to see the sides of your vehicle, which is crucial to see other cars, animals and pedestrians without having to even glance away from the road ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also important when changing lanes and making turns. Make sure you know how to use both your rearview and side mirrors. Make sure they're angled properly, to assist your side vision.

Road safety is also highly dependent on good depth perception. This helps you measure distances correctly in busy traffic, change lanes and pass other vehicles. Strong depth perception requires adequate sight in both of your eyes. In cases of people that have lost vision in one eye, it's essential to check with an optometrist to see if it is okay for you to get behind the wheel. It may be suggested that you stop driving until your vision is corrected to achieve proper depth perception.

Accommodation also comes into use while on the road. If you're unfamiliar with the term accommodating, it is the capability to move your focus from a view in the distance to something in front of you, for example, 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 you might need reading glasses or some other vision correction solution to help you see objects up close. Speak to your optometrist to talk about the best option.

Being able to see color is also pretty important on the road. Those in the driver's seat need to be able to quickly identify traffic lights, road signs and warning signals. If you've got color blindness, your reaction time might be slower than people with regular vision. If this sounds familiar, it's best not to wear medium or dark colored sunglasses, as these can inhibit your ability to differentiate between colors.

Don't wait until you renew or apply for your driver's license to get your eyes checked. You never want to risk your life or the lives of other people on the road! If you feel your vision isn't perfect, make an appointment with your eye doctor, and have a thorough eye exam as soon as you can.