You probably already know the expression “keep your eyes on the road”. But many of us take for granted how important it is. Did you know that 90% of the information needed to drive safely comes through our eyes? Strong vision keeps you, your passengers, and others on the road safe.
Taking your eyes off the road even briefly, such as texting while driving, changing the radio station, turning your head to talk to a passenger are dangerous enough. But the fact is 23% – nearly 1 in 4 drivers – cannot see clearly due to vision impairments. This figure is even more astounding because 80% of these vision impairments can be easily prevented or treated with simple corrective glasses or contact lenses.
Three of the most frequent vision problems for drivers are:
- Nearsightedness (myopia)
- Farsightedness (hyperopia),
Difficulty seeing things in the distance can delay being able to read road signs or highway exits. Vision issues with nearby items can result in challenges to reading your dashboard and knowing how fast you’re driving and how much gas you have. This might seem small but consider that driving at just 30 mph with uncorrected vision can require an extra 3 seconds to recognize and read road signs. That is enough distracted driving time to not see oncoming traffic or a pedestrian crossing the street.
And regarding cataracts, the sooner you address the issue – and let others do the driving in the meantime – the better. Drivers with cataracts are 2.5x more likely to be involved in an accident!
Fortunately, these three issues are easily solved. Many U.S. states require a corrected visual acuity measurement of 20/40 or lower to get a driver’s license. Glasses, contact lenses, and vision surgery can all be used to treat the symptoms caused by these conditions. In the case of cataracts, surgery often completely restores clear vision!
Vision problems for drivers are a serious issue. The most important way you can make sure your eyes are safe for driving is with regular annual checkups with your eye doctor. In addition to monitoring for eye disease, with regular exams your eye doctor can ensure your vision prescription is always current and provides the sharpest vision possible. There is a great Vision Plan available through your association and AMBA that will cover your annual checkup with your eye doctor. Sign up now at www.AMBAdentalvision.com or call 866-979-0497.