Seatbelt? Check. Gas? Check. Directions? Check. Eye exam? Huh?
Driving is second nature to the countless motorists who take to the roads daily. With the increase of technology behind the wheel, with texting and phone calls, the media has increased awareness of safe driving; yet most people forget the most basic requirement for safe driving is sight. If motorists want to remain safe on the roads, they must ensure they have good eyesight and routine eye exams are the only way to do so.
The visual component of driving is most of the task. The only way to guarantee your vision is in tip-top shape is to get regular eye exams. The comprehensive exams can detect vision problems that most people cannot detect themselves. According to the Centers For Disease and Control and Prevention, an estimated 11 million Americans age 12 years and older could see better through measures including reading glasses, contact lenses, or eye surgery. Most people do not realize that they cannot see at a distance because they are unaware of what should be seen. A common misconception is eye exams are only for when you notice a problem. The truth is, many times problems slowly develop and slight changes can go unnoticed until it is too late to reverse the damaging effect to eyes.
Many people would not get behind the wheel without buckling their seatbelt but many would get behind the wheel without a current eye exam and updated prescription for glasses or contacts. It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure they are fit to drive and will not harm themselves or others on the roads.
The responsibility of drivers is huge yet taken lightly by most because it is an everyday activity. For a start, each driver should have an eye exam yearly. Any eyesight changes or deterioration should be reported to the optometrists to be addressed immediately.
1. Always wear your prescription eyewear and be sure that your glasses are clean while driving.
2. Use sunglasses when appropriate, making sure to avoid frames with wide temple pieces, which potentially block side vision.
3. Try anti-reflective or polarized lens to minimize glare from the sun.
4. If you have trouble driving at night because of difficulty seeing, talk to your eye care professional for best options.
5. Take breaks when driving long distances to reduce eyestrain and fatigue.
6. Keep headlights, taillights and windshield clean.
7. Explore options like anti-reflective lens coatings on all prescription eyewear.
8. Receive eye exams by an eye care professional to ensure that your eyes stay healthy and your prescription remains current.