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How Vision Affects Driving

When driving, the need for seeing properly can not be overemphasized. Actually, driving safely depends on a combination of a number of different visual abilities including 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.

Strong distance vision is vital because it helps you to observe the road in front of you and see any risks that might come up. Most importantly, it allows you to respond quickly and stop an accident from happening. And on the flip-side, if your distance vision is poor then there's a chance you may not be aware of the dangers until it's too late.

Just as important is peripheral or side vision, which enables you to see the sides of your vehicle, which is necessary to be aware of other cars, animals and pedestrians without having to look away from the road lying ahead. Being able to see peripherally is also important for switching lanes and turning. Make sure you know how to use your rearview and side mirrors. Check they're well-positioned, to assist your side vision.

Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. It allows you to measure distances properly in busy driving conditions, switch lanes and overtake other vehicles on the road. Strong depth perception needs adequate sight in both eyes. If one lacks proper vision in one eye, it's important to consult with an optometrist to see if it is safe for you to get behind the wheel. It may be suggested that you refrain from driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.

Accommodation also keeps you in good stead when driving. If you're unfamiliar with the term accommodating, it is the ability to move your focus from a view in the distance 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 you might need reading glasses or another vision correction solution to help you see objects up close. Speak to your optometrist to discuss the options.

Being able to see color is also pretty important while driving. Those in the driver's seat need to be able to immediately see traffic lights, road signs and hazard lights. If you've got color blindness, response time could be slower than normal. If this sounds familiar, avoid using medium or dark blue sunglasses, because these can interfere with the ability to discern colors.

At the first sign of vision problems, consider how it affects your ability to drive. You don't want to endanger your life or those of the others on the road! If you think your vision isn't up to par, visit your optometrist, and have a thorough eye exam sooner rather than later.

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