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Thomas P. Finley, OD
Driving Down Vision Highway
Dr. Finley's Family Eyecare
. http://visionsource-drfinley.net/

Driving Down Vision Highway

Driving in our area is becoming increasingly more challenging and dangerous. Our street and highway system has not kept up with the demand of vehicles using the roads. The roads we have seem to be constantly under construction loaded with detour signs, lane changes, and uneven pavement.

Most driving decisions are based upon vision. Having good vision and visual skills can make your driving trips safer. Every driver must act responsibly and exercise good judgment.

Driving Visual Skills

Exercising good visual judgment begins with having a comprehensive eye examination. There are many visual skills required for safe driving. These include;

Good distance vision during the day and night.

Peripheral vision to be aware of everything around your vehicle.

Speed of recognition and visual localization to be able to read and interpret road and directional signs quickly and accurately.

Depth perception and ability to use both eyes together to correctly judge distances.

Dynamic visual acuity to be able to maintain good vision as objects move rapidly.

Eye hand/foot coordination to be able to correctly react, control and steer your vehicle in changing driving conditions.

Contrast sensitivity and glare recovery.

Make certain you communicate with your eye doctor about any vision difficulties you experience when driving. Update your eyeglasses and/or contact lenses so you're seeing your best.

Everyone's vision decreases a little at night. This condition is referred to as night myopia. It's darker outside and harder to see. There is less contrast between objects. Some people are more affected than others and may experience a significant decrease in their vision. They may require special night time driving glasses, or may have to restrict themselves from driving at night. This tends to get worse as we get older.

Oncoming headlights affect people differently. Newer halogen lights are great for drivers, but cause more glare and dazzle to oncoming traffic. Look away from approaching headlights and use the lines on the side of the road as a guide.

Day Time Driving

Many drivers in our area have east-west commutes. The sun is rising in their eyes on the way to work and setting in their eyes on their return trip home. It is critical to have a quality pair of sunglasses (prescription or nonprescription) to reduce squinting and eye fatigue. Polarized lenses are preferable to block out glare reflected from other vehicles and the road.

Vehicle Check List

Certain sight-enhancing preparations can help you to see and be seen better

Clean your windshield and all windows inside and outside.

Clean your headlights.

Replace your wipers when streaking occurs.

During the winter months, clean frost and snow from all windows. Don't restrict your vision to just a small patch.

Keep your headlights or running lights on so you're more visible to other vehicles.

Don't smoke; it can impair your night vision.

When visibility decreases, decrease your speed and increase your distance from the vehicle in front of you.

Plan your route ahead of time to prevent unwanted detours and to avoid peak congestion.

Driving in our area is a full time job. Keep your mind and eyes focused on the task at hand. Make certain you also have the best possible vision correction to help you see and navigate your way through all traffic situations.

MD (301) 805-6805 | VA (703) 288-3130