Eyesight and Driving

All drivers are responsible for their own safety, their passengers' safety and certainly the safety of everyone on the streets. Our ability to see clearly is part of this responsibility. About 85-95% of everything we apprehend during driving comes from our eyes. Poor visual perception means bad driving.

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How important is good eyesight for safe driving?

The past few decades, more and more people are able to own a vehicle and drive it. Despite the disadvantages of increased traffic, we have to accept the fact that driving gives a feeling of independence to the person who owns and drives it. Also, car use has been proven crucial in many cases. As cars and drivers become more, however, accidents increase as well.

odigisi3Most countries, aiming towards the common good and willing to decrease the number of road accidents, pose restrictions, among other things, to the driving rights of people with certain disorders. For example, a person with decreased reflexes is a dangerous driver and so incapable of safe driving. One of the most important parameters for safe driving is, undoubtedly, good eyesight. Eye disorders, if left untreated, frequently become a significant reason for the restriction of the driver's abilities. 


odigisi4These results came after comparing them with drivers with no eye disorders. Research has shown that the more severe the eye disorder of the drivers that were in an accident, the more possible it was that they were responsible for the accident. odigisi4



odigisi5The solution of the problem initially focuses on raising the widest possible awareness as regards to the problem and secondly on the huge chances of treating the various eye disorders. It should be made clear that the past few years advances in ophthalmology technology offer impressive results, for example, the successful correction of high myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism with the latest laser applications in refractive surgery. Furthermore, there have been many important steps in the treatment of cataract, due to the application of new microsurgical techniques for its removal. With proper information and successful treatment of an eye disorder, driving can be rendered safe both for the driver and the rest of the people.


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Useful information for drivers

You should know that...

Between ages 40 and 60, vision at night becomes harder. Our pupils become larger, the muscles lose elasticity and our vision becomes less clear. A 60-year-old driver needs 10 times more light than a 20-year-old!
Older people are more sensitive to “glare” from lights, which makes driving at night difficult. A 55-year-old person needs eight times more time to recover after an intense glare than a 16-year-old.
Weaknesses in our visual system increase after the age of 55. We fail to record objects that don't move, like pedestrians waiting to cross the street.
Around the age of 70, peripheral vision presents problems, which results in increased chances of accident. It is important to know that 95% of a driver's ability comes from peripheral vision.
As years go by, colors lose their brightness for a lot of “elderly” eyes, which results in decreased by half ability to see traffic lights, in relation to younger ages.
Another visual ability that decreases with time is depth perception: how close or how far our car is, in relation to an object in front of us. This ability is especially important for someone to judge the speed with which a car comes, in order to overtake it or turn left.
Cataract, glaucoma and diabetes are conditions that affect vision and the drivers that suffer from these should follow the advice of their ophthalmologist.

Useful advice for safe driving

Turn on the lights early in the evening and inside fog. These are the hours where difficulty in seeing and be seen is large. Avoid, if possible, driving at sunrise and sunset since the “glare” may be blinding and make it difficult to distinguish details on the road. But if you do drive during these hours, you should take precautions and keep longer distances from the car ahead. Decrease your speed if you're driving at night.
If your ophthalmologist gives you corrective glasses or contact lenses, you should be wearing them while driving. If you have difficulties in driving at night, you should discuss this with him. Avoid driving at night on roads that aren't well-lit or you're not familiar with. Elderly drivers need more light to see and they should avoid driving at night.
Wear sunglasses during the day. With sunglasses your eyes adjust easier from light to darkness. Don't wear sunglasses when you drive at night.
It is really important for the headlights of your car to be properly adjusted so that they offer proper illumination without blinding the others.
Visit your ophthalmologist at least once a year and ask for a full ophthalmological examination that will allow you to be certain that you fulfill the requirements for safe driving.


Remember:Your ophthalmologist is the best source for responsible answers on issues related to your eyes and their health. Under no circumstances is information taken from our website intended to replace him. Seek your doctor for complete information.




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