Excellent eyesight is essential for road safety. Actually, safety on the road requires several different visual capabilities including distance and near vision, peripheral vision, seeing at night and color vision, plus many others.
Distance vision is crucial because of how it lets you scan the road ahead of you and become aware of any risks that might appear. Most importantly, it gives you more time to react early and stop any accidents that might have otherwise taken place. On the other hand, if you lack strong distance vision then there's a chance you might not be able to see the dangers in time to stop an accident.
You also need peripheral or side vision, which allows you see to the sides of your car, which is necessary to spot pedestrians, animals and cross traffic without needing to look away from the road ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also important for changing lanes and making turns. Make sure you know how to use both your rearview and side mirrors. Make sure they're well-positioned, to assist your side vision.
Road safety is also highly dependent on good depth perception. This allows you to judge distances accurately in busy driving conditions, switch lanes and pass other cars on the road. Strong depth perception needs adequate vision in both of your eyes. If one lacks proper vision in one eye, it's essential to check with an optometrist to determine if it is safe for you to drive. It may be suggested that you refrain from driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.
Accommodation also keeps you in good stead when driving. If you're unfamiliar with the term accommodating, it is the ability to shift your focus from a view in the distance to something close, for example, from the distance ahead of you to the speedometer. For those 45 or older it's common for you to have increasing difficulty with near vision, and you might need reading glasses or some other vision correction solution to see your dashboard. Speak to your eye doctor to discuss the options.
Strong color vision is also pretty important while driving. Drivers need to be able to instantly recognize traffic lights, road signs and warning 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, avoid using medium or dark blue sunglasses, as these can seriously interfere with 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 think your eyesight isn't up to par, make an appointment with your optometrist, and get a thorough eye exam sooner rather than later.