Vision and Driving
Health issues can reduce our ability to drive. It’s important to be aware of these and understand what we as drivers can do if we experience these issues. Eye sight deterioration can creep up on drivers over time as they age, others can be quite sudden and result in significant impacts in driving performance.
Alcohol and drugs related problems have always had our attention, but there are others that are important for employers and drivers to be aware of.
Good vision is essential for road safety. If you can’t see properly, you can’t drive safely.
Statistics show that one driver in 14 has a vision defect that may affect their driving.
If you think your eyesight may be deteriorating or are having problems at times with vision, visit your optometrist or health practitioner and get it checked now. The health practitioner could be your doctor (GP), a registered nurse or nurse practitioner, or a specialist if appropriate.
It’s important to realise you need a range of different types of vision for safe driving, distance vision, peripheral vision, focus vision and accommodation vision (ability to switch quickly between types quickly).
You must be able to see clearly to drive safely. Poor sight can increase reaction times. If your distance vision is poor, you may not see hazards until it’s too late to react safely.
- Keep windscreens, glasses, sunglasses and lights clean
- Keep your eyes moving every 2 seconds, don’t become fixated on one spot
- Aim high and look ahead
- Regularly check your rear vision mirrors and scan ahead and around you looking for hazards while you’re driving
- Reduce your speed if conditions reduce visibility
- Use your sun visor on bright days and consider having a pair of tinted glasses made to your prescription
- Never wear sunglasses for night driving
- Avoid excessive speed.