Many factors play into a safe driving experience, including your driving habits and keeping your vehicle well-maintained. But the most important factor to keep you safe is your vision.
Good eyesight is essential for drivers to avoid accidents and get to their destination without tickets or misdirection. While on the road, a driver faces many changes to the lighting and environment that may affect their vision. That’s why SafeVision is here to teach you how to maintain your clear vision while traveling on the road.
Your Vision Changes During Different Times of the Day
When you drive, you might think your sight remains the same no matter what time of day it is, but that’s not the case. Different times of the day can cause other parts of your vision to play. Knowing which parts are working can help keep you safe.
Sunrise and Sunset
Depending on your schedule, you might be waking up when the sun rises or coming home when the sun sets and experiencing a lot of bright light. We all know that looking into the sun is bad for your eyes, but most might not know that it can cause indirect harm as well. Direct sunlight tends to “wash out” your surroundings when facing it because it pushes brightness to a level that reduces contrast and makes it more difficult to see objects around you.
When driving directly toward the sunlight, it affects your vision most. But it can also be hard to see when you are dealing with the sun shining into your mirrors and reflecting or into your peripheral vision. Without the proper protection, drivers may experience an afterimage, similar to one you might see after taking a picture with a flash. The sun can create an afterimage if viewed directly for too long and cause a blind spot in your vision with blurry surroundings.
That’s why it’s important to never look directly into the sun, use your visor, keep your windshields clean, and, most importantly, always wear protective eyewear.
Daytime and Nighttime
One of the biggest problems during the daytime is the glare caused by bright reflections or distorted light. Mostly found on other cars and road surfaces while driving during the day, it bounces off these objects and reflects back into your eyes. The glare can impair a driver’s vision and make it uncomfortable to keep your eyes open.
In the nighttime, light is scarce, and visual cues are harder to spot, making it harder to see. Even with street lights and lit-up signage, road markings, billboards, vehicles, and pedestrians aren’t always the most visible until they are right in front of you. At night, your eyes also take longer to adjust to the darkness. Your eyes can take between five to eight minutes to adjust when you move from a lighted place to a very dark one. When it’s completely dark, it might take as long as 40 minutes.
Thankfully, we have headlights and streetlights to light up even the darkest places when driving at night. But with these lights comes glare, and instead of it being natural sunlight, it’s from headlights and streetlights and still affecting your vision in the same ways as during the daytime. To keep yourself safe, avoid looking directly into lights to avoid afterimages, use your brights only when it’s very dark, keep your windshield clean, and make sure you’re wearing proper protective eyewear with anti-reflective lenses.
Some may experience visual discomfort toward sunlight, bright lights, and even any light at all. Light sensitivity can impact your vision during both day and night driving, no matter the weather, and make it uncomfortable for the driver. If you are a driver who experiences light sensitivity, it is essential to have a pair of sunglasses with 100% UV protection and polarization. Protective eyewear can help battle any sensitivity caused by light.
How Safety Eyewear Can Improve Your Driving
It is vital to protect your eyes at all costs while driving to prevent distractions or accidents. Wearing a pair of safety eyewear- either prescription or nonprescription– can help keep your eyes functioning without issues.
There are many different protective eyewear and lens coatings you can get to help your vision while driving. Here are our suggestions to keep drivers safe:
- Sunglasses– it is important to always have sunglasses in your vehicle in the case of sunny or overcast days. Ensure the lenses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays to improve your visual comfort while driving. An added feature like polarization can also help prevent glare from entering your eyes and enhance the clarity of your surroundings. But keep in mind, polarization can slightly distort digital screens like those in many cars these days.
- Anti-reflective coating– An anti-reflective coating is a thin layer applied to the lens that helps limit the reflections within the lenses themselves. The benefits of this coating are improved vision at night, glare and halo reduction around lights, and more precise vision due to more light entering your eyes.
- Progressive or multifocal lenses– Multifocal lenses (bifocals, progressives, and trifocals) show multiple vision correction strengths in each lens. These lenses are helpful for those who need to see objects at different lengths without having to change glasses. Progressive lenses are similar where they offer multiple prescriptions but without any visible lines separating each part. To the outside viewer, they look like a standard pair of lenses. Both of these lenses are helpful when driving because they can bring street signs and information boards far away and your dashboard or GPS up close into clear views even with the difference in distance. But before driving with these lenses, make sure you give yourself time to adjust to using them entirely.
- Photochromic lenses– Photochromic lenses adjust with sunlight. When it is sunny outside, they darken automatically due to the UV rays. When driving, your windshields block almost all UV rays, so photochromic lenses aren’t always the best option for driving.
A Key to Safe Driving
Your vision should always be protected while driving, no matter what lens treatment option you choose. It is even more important if driving is part of your occupation and could lead to an accident while on the job. Be sure you are getting regular check-ups from your eye doctor and consult your safety manager at your job about picking the right pair of safety eyewear.
If your job doesn’t have a corporate program that helps provide their employees with safety eyewear while on the job or driving, contact our representatives at SafeVision. Our dedication to providing safety eyewear to everyone is unmatched and we will find you the right plan today. Visit https://safevision.com/corporate-programs/ to start yours today.