Good eyesight is necessary for safe driving. As a matter of fact, safe driving needs a number of visual abilities including the ability to see both near and far ahead, side or peripheral vision, seeing at night and color vision, just to name some examples.
Distance vision is very important because of how it lets you scan the stretch of road in front of you and detect any dangerous things that might come up. This allows you to respond quickly and avoid 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 see the dangers in time to stop an accident.
Equally as important is peripheral or side vision, which enables you to see either side of your vehicle, which is crucial to spot other cars, animals and pedestrians without having to even glance away from the road lying ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also crucial when changing lanes and turning. Make sure you know how to use your side and rearview mirrors. Check they're angled properly, to enhance your side vision.
Road safety is also highly dependent on good depth perception. It lets you evaluate distances correctly in dense driving conditions, change lanes and pass other vehicles on the road. Good depth perception requires adequate functioning in both of your eyes. If you've lost visual acuity in one eye, it's advised to consult with an eye doctor to determine whether it is safe for you to drive. You may have to stop driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.
Accommodation also comes into use on the road. This is the capability to move your focus from a view ahead to something close, like from the road to the speedometer. For those 45 or older you might have a slight challenge with near vision, and it's normal to require reading glasses or some other corrective device to help you see your dashboard. Speak to your optometrist to discuss the best option.
Being able to see color also comes into play on the road. Drivers need to be able to immediately see traffic lights, street signs and hazard signals. For those with color blindness, your response time may be slower than normal. If this is the case, avoid using medium or dark colored sunglasses, because these can restrict your ability to discern colors.
It's best not to wait until you renew or get your driver's license to make sure your vision is in check. You can't afford to risk your life or those of other people on the road! If you think your eyesight isn't adequate, visit your optometrist, and get a thorough eye exam as soon as you can.