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Eyesight and Driving

When driving, the need for good vision can not be underestimated. Actually, safe driving depends on a combination of a number of different visual abilities such as being able to see both far ahead as well as your immediate surroundings, peripheral vision, seeing in limited light and color vision, just to name a few.

Strong distance vision is crucial because of how it allows you to evaluate the road in front of you and see any danger that might appear. Being able to see ahead gives you the opportunity to act fast and stop any mishaps that could take place. On the other hand, if your distance vision is poor you may not be able to see the dangers until it's too late.

Distance vision is also influenced by the state of your windshield and glasses (including sunglasses), so ensure they are clean and free of scratches and dust which can reduce your ability to see clearly, especially at night and on bright days.

You also need peripheral vision, which enables you to see either side of your vehicle, which is important to be aware of other cars, animals and pedestrians without needing to look away from the road lying ahead. Being able to see peripherally is also important when switching lanes and turning. Use both your rearview and side mirrors. Check they're well-positioned, to assist your side vision.

Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. This allows you to judge distances accurately in busy driving conditions, switch lanes and pass other cars on the road. Strong depth perception calls for proper vision in both of your eyes. If one lacks proper vision in one eye, it's important to consult with your eye doctor to determine if it is okay for you to get behind the wheel. It may be suggested that you stop driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.

Near vision focusing or the ability to accommodate instantly also keeps you in good stead on the road. If you're unfamiliar with the term accommodating, it is the capability to shift your focus from a view in the distance to something in front of you, such as from the distance ahead of you to the speedometer. If you're over the age of 45 you might have a slight challenge with near vision, and it's normal to require reading glasses or some other corrective device to make it easier to see your dashboard. Call your eye doctor to talk about the options.

At the first sign of vision problems, consider how it affects your ability to drive. You never want to risk your own life or the lives of the others on the road! If you feel your eyesight isn't perfect, make an appointment with your eye doctor, and get a proper eye exam sooner rather than later.

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