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Eye Care on The Go

One of the greatest necessities for road safety is, undeniably, good vision. Actually, road safety depends on a number of visual abilities like being able to see both far ahead as well as your immediate surroundings, side or peripheral vision, seeing at night and color vision, just to name some examples.

Distance vision is crucial because of how it lets you observe the road ahead of you and spot any risks that might be present. Being able to see ahead gives you the opportunity to act fast and avoid any accidents that might have otherwise taken place. Alternatively, if you lack strong distance vision you might not be aware of hazards until it's too late.

Just as important is peripheral vision, which enables you see the sides of your vehicle, which is necessary to spot other cars, animals and pedestrians without needing to look away from the road ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also important for switching lanes and making turns. Maximize use of both your rearview and side mirrors. Ensure they're adjusted correctly, to assist your side vision.

Road safety is also highly dependent on good depth perception. It lets you evaluate distances correctly in busy traffic, change lanes and pass other cars. Accurate depth perception needs adequate functioning in both of your eyes. If one lacks proper vision in one eye, it's important to consult with your eye doctor to see whether it is safe for you to get behind the wheel. You may have to refrain from driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.

Accommodation also keeps you in good stead when driving. Accommodating is the capability to move your focus from a view in the distance to something in front of you, such as from the road to the speedometer. If you're over the age of 45 it's common for you to have increasing difficulty with near vision, and it might be helpful for you to get reading glasses or some other corrective device to see your dashboard. Call your optometrist to talk about the best option.

Color vision also comes into play in the car. Drivers need to be able to instantly identify traffic lights, indicator signs and hazard lights. For those with a color vision defect, your response time might be slower than that of others. If this is the case, avoid using medium or dark colored sunglasses, because these can seriously restrict the ability to discern colors.

At the first sign of a vision problem, consider how it affects your ability to drive. You can't afford to endanger your life or those of others on the road! If you feel your vision isn't adequate, visit your optometrist, and get a proper eye exam sooner rather than later.