Proper eyesight is required for road safety. In fact, safety on the road depends on several different visual abilities like distance and near vision, peripheral vision, seeing in limited light and color vision, to name a few.
Distance vision is very important because it lets you scan the road ahead and spot any danger that might come up. Being able to see ahead gives you more time to respond quickly and avoid any mishaps that could take place. And on the flip-side, if your distance vision is poor you might not see hazards until it's too late.
Equally as important is peripheral vision, which allows you to see to the sides of your vehicle, which is necessary to spot other cars, animals and pedestrians without having to look away from the road lying ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also crucial when you're switching lanes and turning. Use both your side and rearview mirrors. Check they're adjusted correctly, to enhance your view of the road to your sides and back.
Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. It lets you evaluate distances correctly in dense traffic, switch lanes and pass other cars on the road. Strong depth perception calls for adequate functioning in both eyes. If you've lost visual acuity in one eye, it's advised to consult with an optometrist to see if it is safe for you to get behind the wheel. It may be suggested that you stop driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.
Accommodation also keeps you in good stead while on the road. Accommodating is the capability to move your focus from something ahead to something near, for example, from the distance ahead of you to the speedometer. If you've recently hit middle-age it's common for you to have a slight challenge with near vision, and it's normal to require glasses or some other corrective device to help you see your dashboard. Make an appointment with your optometrist to discuss the best option.
Strong color vision also comes into play in the car. Those driving need to be able to instantly see traffic lights, street signs and hazard lights. If you've got color blindness, your response time might be slower than that of others. If this sounds familiar, it's best not to wear medium or dark colored sunglasses, because these can restrict the ability to differentiate between 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 don't want to risk your own life or the lives of the others on the road! If you think your vision isn't adequate, make an appointment with your optometrist, and have a thorough eye exam sooner rather than later.