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Eye Care on The Go

One of the greatest necessities for road safety is, undeniably, good vision. As a matter of fact, road safety needs several different visual abilities - for example, 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 very important because it allows you to observe the road in front of you and become aware of any dangerous things that might come up. Most importantly, it allows you to react early and avoid an accident from happening. Alternatively, if your distance vision is poor then there's a chance you might not be aware of dangers in time to stop an accident.

Distance vision is also affected by the maintenance of your windshield and glasses (including sunglasses), so ensure both are kept really clean and free of scratches and dust which can inhibit your vision, especially at night and on bright days.

Equally as important is peripheral or side vision, which allows you to see the sides of your vehicle, which is important to see pedestrians, animals and cross traffic without having to even glance away from the road lying ahead. Being able to see peripherally is also important when changing lanes and turning. Make sure you know how to use your rearview and side mirrors. Ensure they're angled properly, to help your view of the road to your sides and back.

Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. This allows you to judge distances accurately in dense traffic, change lanes and overtake other cars. Good depth perception requires proper vision in both of your eyes. If you've lost visual acuity in one eye, it's important to check with an eye doctor to see if it is okay for you to get behind the wheel. You may need to stop driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.

Accommodation also keeps you in good stead when driving. This is the ability to shift your focus from a view far to something near, for example, from the distance ahead of you to the speedometer. If you've recently hit middle-age you may have increasing difficulty with near vision, and you might need glasses or some other corrective device to make it easier to see your dashboard. Call your optometrist to discuss the best option.

Color vision is also pretty important on the road. Drivers must be able to instantly identify traffic lights, road signs and warning lights. If you've got a color vision defect, reaction time may be slower than normal. If this is the case, it's best not to wear medium or dark blue sunglasses, as these can restrict the ability to discern colors.

At the first sign of vision problems, think about how it affects your ability to drive. You don't want to risk your own life or those of other people on the road! If you think your vision isn't adequate, make an appointment with your eye doctor, and have a thorough eye exam right away.