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Home » What’s New » How Vision Affects Road Safety

How Vision Affects Road Safety

 

Safe driving is dependent upon on proper vision. As a matter of fact, safe driving needs a combination of a number of different visual abilities including the ability to see both near and far ahead, side or peripheral vision, night vision and color vision, just to name some examples.
 
Being able to see well into the distance is highly necessary because of how it lets you observe the stretch of road in front and spot any danger that might be present. It allows you to react early and prevent any mishaps that could take place. On the other hand, if you struggle with distance vision then there's a chance you might not see the hazards until it's too late.
 
Equally as important is peripheral or side vision, which allows you to see to the sides of your vehicle, which is necessary to spot other cars, animals and pedestrians without having to look away from the road ahead. Being able to see peripherally is also important when you're changing lanes and making turns. Use both your rearview and side mirrors. Make sure they’re angled properly, to help your side vision.
 
Road safety is also highly dependent on good depth perception. It allows you to judge distances correctly in dense traffic, switch lanes and pass other vehicles. Good depth perception needs adequate functioning in both of your eyes. In cases of people that have poor vision in one eye, it's important to consult with your optometrist to see if you meet the vision requirements set by the Ministry of Transportation.
 
Near vision focusing or the ability to accommodate also comes into use when driving. Accommodating is the capability to shift your focus from a view ahead to something in front of you, for example, from the road to the dashboard. If you are over 40, it's common for you to have a slight challenge with near vision, and it might be helpful for you to get glasses or some other vision correction solution to help you see objects up close. Make an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss the options.
 
Color vision is also pretty important in the car. Those in the driver's seat need to be able to quickly see traffic lights, road signs and hazard lights. If you've got a color vision defect, reaction time may be a little slower than that of others. If this sounds familiar, it's best not to wear medium or dark colored sunglasses, because these can seriously interfere with the ability to identify colors.
 
Don't wait until you renew or apply for your driver's license to have an eye exam. You don't want to endanger your life or the lives of the others on the road! If you feel your vision isn't adequate, see your eye doctor, and have a thorough eye exam as soon as you can.