Good vision is required for safe driving. In fact, safety on the road relies on several different visual abilities including distance and near vision, peripheral vision, night vision and color vision, among many others.
Being able to see well into the distance is vital because it helps you to observe the stretch of road ahead of you and become aware of any risks that might appear. Being able to see ahead gives you a chance to respond quickly and avoid accidents that might have otherwise taken place. And on the flip-side, if you struggle with distance vision then there's a chance you may not see the dangers in time to prevent an accident.
Distance vision is also influenced by the condition of your windshield and glasses (including sunglasses), so check that both are really clean and scratch-free, since scratches can reduce visibility, especially at night and on bright days.
Equally as important is peripheral vision, which enables you see the sides of your vehicle, which is crucial to see pedestrians, animals and cross traffic without needing to look away from the road ahead. Strong peripheral vision is also important when changing lanes and turning. Maximize use of both your rearview and side mirrors. Make sure they're angled properly, to help your view of the road to your sides and back.
Road safety is also highly dependent on good depth perception. This lets you evaluate distances accurately in busy driving conditions, switch lanes and pass other vehicles on the road. Accurate depth perception requires adequate sight in both of your eyes. If one lacks proper vision in one eye, it's essential to consult with an optometrist to determine whether it is okay for you to get behind the wheel. You may have to stop driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.
Accommodation also plays an important role on the road. Accommodating is the ability to move your focus from a view ahead to something near, like from the road to the dashboard. If you've recently hit middle-age it's common for you to have increasing difficulty with near vision, and it's normal to require glasses or some other corrective device to make it easier to see your dashboard. Make an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss the options.
At the first sign of vision problems, consider how it affects your ability to drive. You never want to endanger your own life or the lives of other people on the road! If you suspect your eyesight isn't up to par, visit your eye doctor, and have a proper eye exam right away.