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Walter Shurminsky O.D.

Home » News and Events » Driving with Good Vision

Driving with Good Vision

Good vision is required for road safety. As a matter of fact, safety on the road requires a number of visual abilities such as being able to see both far ahead as well as your immediate surroundings, side or peripheral vision, night vision and color vision, to name a few.

Being able to see well into the distance is crucial because it lets you observe the stretch of road in front of you and spot any dangers that might be present. This allows you to respond quickly and stop any accidents. Alternatively, if your distance vision is poor you may not be able to see dangers in time to stop an accident.

Distance vision is also directly related to the maintenance of your windshield and glasses (including sunglasses), so check that these are clean and scratch-free which can inhibit your ability to see clearly, mostly when it's dark or sunny.

Equally as important is peripheral vision, which enables you see the sides of your car, which is crucial to be aware of pedestrians, animals and cross traffic without having to even glance away from the road lying ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also crucial when changing lanes and turning. Make sure you know how to use both your side and rearview mirrors. Ensure they're adjusted correctly, to enhance your view of the road to your sides and back.

Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. It helps you evaluate distances accurately in busy driving conditions, switch lanes and pass other vehicles. Good depth perception needs adequate vision in both eyes. If one lacks proper vision in one eye, it's advised to check with an eye doctor to determine whether it is okay for you to drive. You may have to stop driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.

Accommodation also plays an important role on the road. Accommodating is the capability to move your focus from a view far to something in front of you, like from the road to the dashboard. If you've recently hit middle-age you may have increasing difficulty with near vision, and it might be helpful for you to get glasses or another vision correction solution to see your dashboard. Make an appointment with your optometrist to discuss the options.

Don't wait until you renew or apply for your driver's license to make sure your vision is in check. You never want to risk your life or the lives of others on the road! If you think your eyesight isn't adequate, visit your eye doctor, and get a thorough eye exam as soon as you can.