25 Jun Preserve Your Eyesight: 5 Tips for Good Driving Vision
Healthy vision is one of the most important aspects of safe driving. Taking care of your eyes is as fundamental as keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape.
Your eyes are your greatest asset when it comes to safe driving. Being able to clearly see the road, pedestrians, other vehicles, and your environment is essential to making sure you get to your destination safe and sound.
Not all eyes are created equal, however, and eye health can vary among drivers. While some drivers may have naturally better, uncorrected vision than others, that doesn’t mean they have an unnecessary advantage of those with less than 20-20 vision. If you struggle with your vision, or are concerned that your vision may have deteriorated and is hindering your ability to drive and do other tasks, there are ways you can preserve and improve your natural eyesight.
The 6 Elements of Vision
To properly care for your vision, it’s important to understand the different aspects of vision to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your eyesight. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has compiled a list of characteristics that comprise vision:
- Visual acuity is a measure of how clearly you can see. Weak visual acuity can make objects appear blurry, putting drivers at greater risk of a crash, especially at dusk or dawn.
- Color blindness affects your ability to differentiate between colors. It can impact a driver’s ability to read traffic signs, follow roadways, and see when vehicles put on their brake lights.
- Contrast sensitivity measures the ability to see the outline of objects compared to their surroundings. A driver with contrast sensitivity issues may encounter difficulties in seeing a pedestrian in fog or at night, putting them at greater risk of a crash.
- Useful field of view determines how much information your eyes can process at a brief glance. A good useful field of view is important in driving, which requires drivers to process multiple sources of information at once while moving at high speeds.
- Depth perception helps you determine the distance of objects in relation to yourself. Poor depth perception can make it difficult to judge the speed and distance of oncoming vehicles.
- Peripheral vision measures how well you can see from the corners of your eyes. Peripheral vision helps drivers maintain situational awareness, especially when changing lanes or making turns.
Maintaining Your Eyesight
While aging and medical conditions may contribute to difficulties with vision, there are actions that every driver can take to improve and preserve their eyesight and make sure their visual health is as strong as possible. AAA offers five tips to drivers for keeping their vision healthy and optimized for driving:
- Schedule an annual eye exam. An optometrist can help detect early signs of glaucoma and cataracts, as well as identify any other issues that may impair your vision.
- Regularly update your prescription. Wearing glasses or contacts that do not match your prescription can strain and hurt your eyes. Keeping your prescription updated ensures that your vision is as good as possible when you’re behind the wheel.
- If you wear glasses, choose a pair with thin frames and high-mounted side pieces. This makes sure that you have clear line of sight and the best possible peripheral vision.
- Keep glasses and contacts well-maintained. Regularly cleaning your glasses and contacts prevents any potential visual obstruction. Checking that they’re in good repair and condition also makes sure you won’t be in a situation when you’re driving without your glasses or contact lenses.
- Wear polarized or prescription sunglasses. Good or corrected vision can be obstructed by glare and bright sunlight. Polarized sunglasses help to keep glare to a minimum, while prescription sunglasses mean you won’t have to sacrifice clear vision.
Vision is also not purely tied to how well your eyes allow you to see other vehicles and the environment. Even if you have perfect vision, there are steps you should take to ensure that your vehicle is optimized for visibility, including cleaning both sides of your windshield and windows, cleaning your lights, properly adjusting your mirrors, and making sure your headlights are properly adjusted.
Doing everything you can to take care of your vision and maximize your visibility will help you avoid a crash and keep the roads safe for other drivers.