Proper eyesight is necessary for safe driving. As a matter of fact, driving safely requires several different visual capabilities including distance and near vision, peripheral vision, night vision and color vision, just to name some examples.
Strong distance vision is very important because it lets you evaluate the stretch of road ahead and become aware of any dangerous things that might come up. Most importantly, it gives you more time to respond quickly and prevent any accidents that might have otherwise taken place. And on the flip-side, if you lack strong distance vision then there's a chance you may not see dangers soon enough.
Equally as important is peripheral vision, which allows you see either side of your car, which is needed to spot other cars, animals and pedestrians without needing to even glance away from the road lying ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also important when you're changing lanes and turning. Make sure you know how to use your rearview and side mirrors. Make sure they're angled properly, to help your side vision.
Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. It allows you to measure distances correctly in busy driving conditions, change lanes and overtake other vehicles. Good depth perception calls for proper functioning in both eyes. If you've lost visual acuity in one eye, it's essential to consult with an eye doctor to determine if it is okay for you to drive. You may have to refrain from driving until your vision is corrected to achieve proper depth perception.
Near vision focusing or being able to accommodate properly also keeps you in good stead while on the road. Accommodating is the capability to shift your focus from a view in the distance to something close, like from the distance ahead of you to the speedometer. For those 45 or older you may have increasing difficulty with near vision, and you might need glasses or another vision correction solution to make it easier to see objects up close. Speak to your eye doctor to talk about the options.
Being able to see color is also pretty important in the car. Drivers must be able to quickly recognize traffic lights, street signs and hazard lights. If you've got color blindness, reaction time could be a little slower than normal. If this sounds familiar, avoid using medium or dark colored sunglasses, because these can inhibit the ability to identify colors.
It's best not to wait until you renew or apply for your driver's license to make sure your vision is in check. You can't afford to risk your own life or the lives of others on the road! If you think your eyesight isn't up to par, make an appointment with your optometrist, and have a proper eye exam right away.