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Vision Behind the Wheel

Excellent eyesight is necessary for road safety. Actually, staying safe on the road requires a number of visual abilities - for example, being able to see both far ahead as well as your immediate surroundings, side or peripheral vision, seeing in limited light and color vision, plus many others.

Distance vision is crucial because of how it lets you evaluate the road in front and see any dangers that might appear. Being able to see ahead allows you to act fast and prevent any accidents that might have otherwise taken place. On the other hand, if you struggle with distance vision you may not be able to see the dangers soon enough.

Equally as important is peripheral or side vision, which allows you to see either side of your vehicle, which is crucial to see pedestrians, animals and cross traffic without having to even glance away from the road ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also important when switching lanes and making turns. Use both your side and rearview mirrors. Make sure they're adjusted correctly, to assist your view of the road to your sides and back.

Road safety is also highly dependent on good depth perception. This lets you judge distances correctly in crowded driving conditions, change lanes and pass other vehicles on the road. Strong depth perception requires proper vision in both of your eyes. If one lacks proper vision in one eye, it's advised to consult with your optometrist to determine whether it is okay for you to get behind the wheel. It may be suggested that you stop driving until your vision is corrected to achieve proper depth perception.

Near vision focusing or the ability to accommodate effectively also plays an important role on the road. Accommodating is the capability to shift your focus from a view far to something near, like from the distance ahead of you to the speedometer. If you're over the age of 45 you may have increasing difficulty with near vision, and it might be helpful for you to get reading glasses or some other vision correction solution to make it easier to see objects up close. Make an appointment with your optometrist to discuss the best option.

Try not to hold off until you renew or get your driver's license to get your eyes checked. 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 have a thorough eye exam right away.