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Eye Care on The Go

Road safety is dependent upon on your ability to see well. Actually, road safety requires 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, plus many others.

Distance vision is highly necessary because of how it lets you evaluate the stretch of road in front of you and become aware of any risks that might appear. This gives you the opportunity to act fast and stop any accidents. Alternatively, if you lack strong distance vision you may not be able to see the hazards soon enough.

Distance vision is also directly related to the maintenance of your windshield and glasses (including sunglasses), so ensure these are kept very clean and scratch-free which can negatively affect your ability to see clearly, especially when it's dark or sunny.

Just as important is peripheral vision, which allows you to see the sides of your car, which is crucial to spot other cars, animals and pedestrians without needing to even glance away from the road ahead. Being able to see peripherally is also crucial for switching lanes and making turns. Make sure you know how to use both your side and rearview mirrors. Make sure they're angled properly, to assist your side vision.

Road safety is also highly dependent on good depth perception. It helps you judge distances properly in crowded traffic, switch lanes and pass other vehicles. Strong depth perception needs proper sight in both of your eyes. If you've lost visual acuity in one eye, it's advised to check with your eye doctor to determine if 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.

Near vision focusing or being able to accommodate effectively also keeps you in good stead when driving. Accommodating is the capability to move your focus from a view far to something close, like from the distance ahead of you to the speedometer. If you're over the age of 45 you may have a slight challenge with near vision, and you might need reading glasses or another vision correction solution to help you see your dashboard. Speak to your optometrist to discuss the options.

Strong color vision also comes into play on the road. Those in the driver's seat need to be able to instantly see traffic lights, road signs and hazard signals. If you've got a color vision defect, your reaction time could be a little slower than that of others. If this is the case, try not to use medium or dark colored sunglasses, because these can seriously inhibit your ability to discern colors.

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 others on the road! If you think your eyesight isn't perfect, visit your optometrist, and have a proper eye exam as soon as you can.