There is not just one way of seeing – there are in fact many varying types of vision, all of which are necessary for safe driving. 6 key facets are explained below:
The simplest driving reactions can take 0.4 seconds. Being able to see clearly and far enough into the distance is crucial to keeping reactions fast.
This is especially important on open roads; faster travelling speeds decreases this window of reaction time and if vision impediment goes uncorrected, this window grows smaller and smaller – consequently increasing the driver’s chances of having a dangerous accident.
Eyes aside, the condition of your glasses can also influence your distance vision. These should be kept clean and free of scratches to keep from affecting your vision.
Peripheral vision/field of vision, allows you to see what is on either side of you as well what is in front, allowing you to be aware of pedestrians, roadside activity and other traffic without having to look away from the road.
Your ability to judge distances is critical to changing lanes and safely passing other vehicles, especially when the road is busy. If your vision in one eye changes dramatically, you should consider taking some time to adjust before getting behind the wheel again.
Accommodation/near vision focusing, is the ability to change your focus from near to far, such as when alternating between looking at the road and looking at the dashboard when driving. As you age, many will find it increasingly difficult to see the dashboard clearly. Glasses will help should this happen.
Your vision needs to adjust to differing light conditions, and recover from bright oncoming headlights moving past. Exposure to bright light means eyes will adapt slower to lower light levels. This can be countered by wearing sunglasses when in the sun for extended periods.
After the age of 40, night vision can deteriorate. If you feel your night vision has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer safe to drive in the dark, you can get a daylight only licence.
Drivers need to recognise traffic lights, hazard warning lights and indicator signs, instantaneously. People with colour vision defects may have slower reactions to these