Safe driving depends largely on proper eyesight. As a matter of fact, safe driving needs several different visual abilities such as distance and near vision, side or peripheral vision, seeing in limited light and color vision, plus many others.
Distance vision is vital because of how it lets you evaluate the stretch of road in front of you and become aware of any risks that might come up. Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to respond quickly and avoid any mishaps that could take place. On the other hand, if you don't see ahead well then there's a chance you may not see the dangers soon enough.
Distance vision is also directly related to the state of your windshield and glasses (including sunglasses), so check that both are clean and scratch-free which can inhibit your sight, mostly when it's dark or sunny.
Equally as important is peripheral vision, which enables you see either side of your vehicle, which is crucial to see pedestrians, animals and cross traffic without needing to even glance away from the road ahead. Being able to see peripherally is also important for switching lanes and making turns. Maximize use of both your side and rearview mirrors. Ensure they're angled properly, to assist your side vision.
Additionally, good depth perception is important for road safety. This allows you to measure distances accurately in busy driving conditions, switch lanes and pass other vehicles on the road. Accurate depth perception needs adequate functioning in both of your eyes. If you've lost visual acuity in one eye, it's advised to check with your eye doctor to determine if it is okay for you to drive. You may need to refrain from driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.
Accommodation also plays an important role when driving. If you're unfamiliar with the term accommodating, it is the ability to move your focus from a view far to something in front of you, such as from the distance ahead of you to the dashboard. If you've recently hit middle-age you may have a slight challenge with near vision, and it's normal to require reading glasses or another vision correction solution to see your dashboard. Speak to your optometrist to talk about the options.
Being able to see color is also pretty important while driving. Those in the driver's seat need to be able to instantly recognize traffic lights, street signs and hazard signals. For those with a color vision defect, reaction time might be a little slower than that of others. If this sounds familiar, avoid using medium or dark blue sunglasses, as these can seriously interfere with your ability to discern colors.
Try not to hold off until you renew or get your driver's license to get your eyes checked. You never want to risk your life or the lives of the others on the road! If you suspect your eyesight isn't up to par, visit your optometrist, and get a proper eye exam as soon as you can.