In order to be able to operate a car safely, you absolutely must have good eyesight. You may fool your family when they tease you about tripping and you may lie to your doctor and tell him your vision’s fine, but please don’t lie to yourself when you’re driving. To do so means that you are risking not only your own life, but the lives of everybody else that’s on the road with you. Most states have lax rules for eyesight for driving tests which means that we must each be responsible for making sure that we are driving safely.
Eyesight, Aging and Driving
Driving accidents due to poor vision increase drastically after the age of 50. Up to that age, there is not substantial proof to link poor eyesight to driving accidents. The reasons for this aren’t known for sure but the fact that the reflexes also start to slow at about that age may be a contributing factor. It’s a good idea to have your eyes checked every year regardless of your age but because your eyes can change rapidly as you get older, it may very well be a matter of life and death if you drive regularly.
Night driving is particularly challenging as you get older because as you age, your pupils don’t open as widely so your eyes can’t take in sufficient light to see in the dark. This applies especially to moving objects which makes night driving with poor vision even more dangerous. You may be perfectly fine to drive during the day but regardless of your age, if you can’t see well enough to drive at night, then don’t.
Night Driving Glasses
Whether your vision is perfect or not-so-perfect, night driving glasses are generally not a good idea unless they are prescribed by a doctor. Because tinted lenses reduce visibility, the advantage gained by the glasses reducing glare are offset by the fact that you may not be able to see as well because of the tint. If you insist on wearing your sunglasses at night, don’t do it while you’re driving!
Tips for Driving Safely with Less-Than-Perfect Vision
Ideally, you need good eyesight for driving safely but if your vision is reduced, there are a number of things that you can do to make your travel safer for yourself and everybody else. To begin with, go to the optometrist, get your eyes checked, and if you are prescribed glasses, wear them. Since your ability to see moving objects deteriorates faster than your ability to see stationary objects, drive slow enough that you can see everything around you.
Avoid driving in unfamiliar places from dusk til after dawn. Finally, make sure that you get your eyes checked at least once per year for cataracts and glaucoma. Also, illnesses such as diabetes can also affect your eyesight so make sure to get a physical every year too.
Every time that you step behind the wheel, you are taking responsibility for both your own life and the lives of those that you are driving with. It’s not a responsibility that you should take lightly and you need to have good eyesight for driving safely. If you want to risk your own life, go skydiving but don’t risk anyone else’s life by driving if you can’t see well enough to do it.