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How Vision Affects Road Safety

Good vision is required for safe driving. Actually, safe driving depends on several different visual capabilities like the ability to see both near and far ahead, side or peripheral vision, night vision and color vision, plus many others.

Distance vision is highly necessary because it lets you observe the stretch of road ahead and see any dangerous things that might appear. Being able to see ahead gives you more time to respond quickly and prevent an accident from happening. On the other hand, if you don't see ahead well then there's a chance you might not see dangers in time to stop an accident.


Just as important is peripheral or side vision, which allows you to see the sides of your car, which is necessary to be aware of pedestrians, animals and cross traffic without needing to look away from the road ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also important for switching lanes and making turns. Maximize use of both your side and rearview mirrors. Check they're well-positioned, 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 dense driving conditions, switch lanes and pass other cars. Good depth perception calls for adequate vision in both eyes. In cases of people that have lost vision in one eye, it's advised to check with an optometrist to see whether it is safe for you to get behind the wheel. You may have to stop driving until your vision is corrected to achieve proper depth perception.

Accommodation also keeps you in good stead when driving. Accommodating is the capability to shift your focus from something in the distance to something close, for example, from the road to the speedometer. For those 45 or older you may have increasing difficulty with near vision, and it's normal to require reading glasses or another vision correction solution to make it easier to see your dashboard. Speak to your eye doctor to discuss the best option.


Don't wait until you renew or get your driver's license to have an eye exam. You never want to endanger your own life or the lives of the others on the road! If you feel your eyesight isn't adequate, see your eye doctor, and have a proper eye exam sooner rather than later.