Driving & Your Eyes

July 2017
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Just as your car needs regular checks to ensure that it is functioning normally, your eyes need examining to ensure that your vision meets the LTSA eyesight standards. Most drivers can reach the standard necessary for safe driving with prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Why is good vision so important for road safety?

The ability to see clearly is most important for safe driving. Even the simplest reactions take 0.4 seconds. If distance vision is reduced, people, cyclists, and other drivers are often not seen until it is too late to react safely.

The faster you travel, the less time you have to react to what is seen. Poor distance vision and excessive speed increase the risk of making unreliable judgements, with potentially dangerous results.

Your windscreen and spectacles should be clean and free of dust and scratches which greatly reduce vision on bright days and at night. Scratched lenses can be a real problem for drivers.

The ability to see “out the corner of your eye” is particularly important for the early recognition of cross-traffic, pedestrians and animals at the roadside without looking away from the road ahead. To ensure safe driving, the LTSA requires a minimum of 140° field of view for driving as a private motorist. Make the best use of your side and rear view mirrors, and keep them adjusted correctly.

Passing other vehicles and changing lanes requires good judgement of distance, especially in busy traffic. A person with two eyes working together well has the most reliable depth perception.


Clare Coventry

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