Keeping up with eye exams allows you to detect changes in your vision, which can help keep you and others on the road safe.
Most people can drive after dilating pupils, but it is best to bring sunglasses to reduce light sensitivity. Be sure to arrange a ride home if you are uncomfortable driving after an eye exam.
Detecting Vision Problems
Age brings many changes, and sometimes, your vision joins the party.
Don't let these shifts impact your driving safety! Regular eye exams help keep you confident by catching vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or blurry vision.
These issues can raise your risk of driver error and accidents. But that raises a new question: can you drive after an eye exam? It depends! Some exams require dilation, temporarily affecting your vision and making driving unsafe. Always check with your doctor before getting behind the wheel, and have a backup plan ready, just in case.
Other vision-related conditions such as dry eyes, glaucoma, or macular degeneration can also seriously impact driving safety. These conditions can cause blind spots in central or peripheral vision, making it difficult or impossible to see traffic signals, roadway markers, and even pedestrians.
Although some research has shown a possible relationship between visual acuity and motor vehicle collisions, most studies have not supported this claim. Nevertheless, there are many other factors to consider regarding driving safety. A good rule of thumb is to use the EyeQue VisionCheck to monitor your vision at home and to schedule an appointment with a doctor if you notice any changes in your eye.
Identifying Preventable Eye Diseases
A healthy, functioning eye is essential for driving. From reading highway signs at a distance to judging how fast you are going on the interstate, your ability to see is critical for driving safely.
Your eye doctor can check your vision for conditions that may affect your ability to drive, including glaucoma, which can cause blind spots in your peripheral or central vision.
Regular eye exams help your doctor detect these changes before they lead to permanent vision loss.
In examining the eye for potential diseases, your eye doctor will also test your visual field, color vision, and contrast sensitivity. These are essential factors to consider when driving, as they impact your ability to identify pedestrians and traffic signals in bad weather or at night. They can also impact how well you see oncoming vehicles and other drivers in your lane.
Assessing Your Visual Efficiency
Although the standard vision screening test used by licensing agencies for initial and periodic re-licensure is visual acuity, this only measures some vital visual functions required for safe driving. These include central and peripheral vision, visual attention, depth perception, and contrast sensitivity.
Your ability to see objects at a distance, or your visual acuity, is essential for driving, especially when you’re going fast. You need to be able to see road signs, pedestrians, and other vehicles from a long way away so that you can react in time to avoid them.
Your peripheral or side-vision is also critical when driving, as is your ability to see a curve in the road ahead. To test this, your eyecare specialist will use a specialist type of visual field test called automated perimetry. This measures your ability to detect small areas of light that move across or around your visual field as you look at a central point.
Identifying Potential Driving Hazards
As a driver, it is essential to see everything around you. This is especially true when driving in the city, where you can encounter many hazards that others don’t notice: children running into the street, a car pulling out from a parking spot, pedestrians hiding between vehicles, or a runaway truck bearing down on you from behind.
A quick scan of your mirrors and the roadway ahead allows you to identify potential hazards, giving you the time to plan how to avoid them. This may involve changing your speed, course, or lane position.
However, the poor driving behaviors of other motorists can affect even the safest drivers. They might swerve, turn improperly, cut before you, or suddenly stop. You need to be able to predict what they will do and adjust accordingly. A split second can make all the difference.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nurlana Alasgarli is a professional copywriter with more than 6 years of creative writing experience. Having lived and experienced all over the world, there are many writing genres that Nurlana follows, including nature, arts and crafts and the outdoors. Nurlana brings life to content creation, captivating her readers.