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How Vision Affects Road Safety

Safety behind the wheel If you think about it, road safety depends on several different visual capabilities such as being able to see both far ahead as well as your immediate surroundings, side or peripheral vision, night vision and color vision, plus many others.

Being able to see well into the distance is very important because it helps you to evaluate the road in front of you and become aware of any danger that might come up. Being able to see ahead gives you the opportunity to respond quickly and prevent any accidents that might have otherwise taken place. Alternatively, if your distance vision is poor you might not see the dangers soon enough.

Equally as important is peripheral or side vision, which allows you to see the sides of your car, which is needed to be aware of pedestrians, animals and cross traffic without having to even glance away from the road ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also important when you're changing lanes and making turns. Use both your side and rearview mirrors. Check they're adjusted correctly, to help your view of the road to your sides and back.

Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. It lets you measure distances properly in crowded traffic, change lanes and overtake other vehicles. Good depth perception needs adequate functioning in both of your 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 drive. It may be suggested that you refrain from driving until your vision is corrected to achieve proper depth perception.

Accommodation also comes into use while on the road. This is the ability to move your focus from something ahead to something close, for example, from the distance ahead of you to the speedometer. For those 45 or older it's common for you to have a slight challenge with near vision, and you might need glasses or another vision correction solution to see objects up close. Make an appointment with your eye doctor to talk about the best option.

At the first sign of vision problems, consider how it affects your ability to drive. You can't afford to endanger your life or those of others on the road! If you think your eyesight isn't up to par, make an appointment with your optometrist, and get a proper eye exam sooner rather than later.


Please be advised that all office visits including exams, frame selections, repairs, pick-ups, and drop-offs are by appointment only. We are required to wear a face mask in our office and ask that you bring yours to your appointment.

We are happy to serve our patients and community and are committed to keeping you as safe as possible.

Thank you.

The Shuswap Optometric Team