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Driving and glasses

More than 90% of the decisions and gestures necessary when driving a car depend on the driver's vision. A good visual acuity is primordial when driving, especially during the night. This is not only about seeing, but about seeing carefully; noticing at the right time the dark shadow of a pedestrian who is walking on the side of the road.

It is estimated that one out of three drivers could see better and ignores it; and that one out of twenty drivers has a very bad vision and ignores it as well. Seeing well means having a good visual acuity, a good sensitivity to contrasts, and having a good lateral field of vision (when driving one will look intensely in front, and yet, a car could appear suddenly from the side, thus causing an accident).

For a more secure driving

The concept of speed is not defined by images seen by the driver when looking in front, but by those which he does not really look at and slope off on each side. Our peripheral vision is thus as essential for driving as is the central vision.

To avoid driving at night would be a wise and judicious thing: deadly accidents happen thrice as much during the night as during the day. Excessive speed combined to an altered vision explains why. In the twilight, when colours are less discernible, a driver will experience slight myopia, reaching as far as 1.5 dioptry at night, even if he has an excellent visual acuity. This night myopia reduces the quality of the images seen by the driver, who thus has to be much more careful and attentive when driving.

Have frequent eye tests even if you do not wear glasses. A person with bad vision is a bad driver.

If you wear lenses, do not forget to keep spare ones in the storage tray. This obligation, if not complied with, could lead you to an expensive fine or an accident.

If you are used to wear corrective glasses, you should always have spare ones in the glove compartment of your car. Clean them carefully. The glasses should be as impeccably clean as your windscreen, which, when dirty or scratched, catches the headlights and thus renders the vision more difficult. For security reasons, choose large or curved frames, with thin sides so as not to block your lateral vision.

Protect yourself from glare by wearing good sunglasses. The quality of the glasses should be excellent: the brain, which decodes images, is easily disturbed by any irregularity in the mass or surface of the glass, which, in turn, is imperceptible to the eye. It is already activated while driving, and should not carry more strain.

On a sunny day, you should wear sunglasses with a factor 2 or 3; factor 4 would be unsuitable for driving. To increase your visual comfort, you could choose polarized sunglasses.

On foggy days, you should wear yellow, purple or orange tinted glasses, which accentuate contrasts and highlights. It is strongly forbidden to wear tinted glasses when driving at night. Everybody is convinced about this: when driving, life depends on a good vision. However, it is essential for one to learn about one's visual aptitudes and have regular eye tests. Have it corrected if need be; everyone's safety depends on it.

And the road will be visually more pleasing...

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