Over the years, people who drive on a regular basis get behind the wheel of their vehicle knowing how it works. This undoubtedly benefits the driver’s safety. Just as walking is carried out unconsciously (we do not think that we have to move one leg after the other or calculate the stride we should take if we want to move faster), driving also becomes a somewhat “unconscious” activity.
One would not understand that one would have to think about the possibility of pressing the clutch every time one wanted to change gear or shuffle the probabilities of success when pressing the brake to slow down.
Drivers make these decisions almost by instinct.
However, what we call instinct is closely linked to a good perception of what is going on around us. Thanks to our sense of hearing, we can hear the sound of the engine, deduce if a motorcycle is approaching or if an ambulance is asking us to pass. And, undoubtedly, sight is what sends the brain the most relevant information and causes it to make one decision or another, depending on the information, and to do so as quickly as possible.
Obtaining the most and best information of what is happening around the vehicle is essential for the brain to make the right decision with enough time.
In short, the sense of sight is essential for safe driving.
Lighting conditions at night are poorer than during the day. The absence of sunlight makes vision worse as obstacles and distances are perceived differently. Less clear or accurate.
To minimize the risks of driving at night (night time traffic accidents are the most lethal and 27.5% of road accidents occur in poor lighting conditions) it is important to follow a series of tips:
Keep all lights in perfect condition. It is advisable to clean the headlights regularly to ensure proper illumination of the road, to know and use the adjustment of the mirrors to avoid the glare that can cause vehicles circulating behind.
Keep an eye on the rest of your eyes. With less light, the eyes have to work harder to capture the images and this makes the eyes tired. To give them a rest, it is advisable to stop about every two hours.
If you wear prescription glasses, it is important to have them checked periodically to see if the prescription is correct or if it has been modified. In this case, the lenses should be changed to achieve the best possible vision. Anti-reflective lenses also contribute to a more comfortable and relaxed driving, minimizing eye fatigue.
Reduce speed. The lower the illumination, the longer it usually takes to achieve correct vision. Thus, the reaction time to an eventuality increases. To improve safety, it is advisable to reduce speed at night, especially in poor lighting conditions.
If, in spite of following all this advice, symptoms of eye fatigue are felt (tearing, blurred vision, eye heaviness…) the driver should avoid driving and rest until the symptoms have passed.
Sometimes it is preferable to find a place to sleep and continue driving the next day.
Optimal vision is essential for safe driving
Millions of people drive on your roads every day. An estimated five million people do so with vision problems. Of these, 1 in 4 have not had their eyesight checked in the last two years.
Sight is the most important sense when it comes to making decisions on the road. The World Health Organization states that poor vision is among the greatest risk factors for traffic accidents.
When driving, it is necessary to be aware of what is happening on the road and also inside the vehicle. Your eyesight must be able to focus without difficulty at near and far distances. Seeing well means being able to make a decision as quickly as possible.
Reaction time is the time it takes a driver from the moment he sees an obstacle until he makes a decision to avoid it. If vision is poor, reaction time increases. On many occasions, a few seconds can make the difference between having an accident or avoiding it.
It is therefore necessary to use glasses or contact lenses to correct the driver’s vision problems. Glasses to improve distance vision, near vision or vision at any distance. Progressive glasses are a good option for people who, especially as a result of the passage of time, need to improve their vision both for distance and near vision.
Another of the great dangers that we can find on the road is that of glare. During the day, there are surfaces that can reflect the sun’s rays, causing them to fall directly into the driver’s eyes. The asphalt or the windows of other vehicles are some of these surfaces. At night, car headlights or some illuminated signs can also cause reflections that lead to glare.
Glare forces the driver to involuntarily squint or close his eyes. This means that the driver can no longer see the road for a few seconds. When the vehicle is in motion, depending on the speed at which it is driven, a few seconds can mean driving several hundred meters blind.
Despite these risks, many drivers are not aware of the need to protect their eyes from glare.
Detecting any vision problem as early as possible is the best way to solve it. For this reason, regular eye examinations are very important. Before going on a long trip, it is especially advisable to undergo an eye examination.