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How Vision Changes Affect Driver Safety

How Vision Changes Affect Driver Safety

In Alaska, you're required to renew your driver's license every five years. In addition, you can renew remotely by mail or online during every other renewal period. This means that ten years can go by before you're required to pass their vision test. During this time, a lot can happen to your vision, especially for those who are 40 years of age and older. If you are entering into midlife (about age 40) you may have or will likely get Presbyopia in the near future.

Presbyopia is the medical term for the condition that causes some people to need reading glasses, and others to need bifocals. For those who've never worn glasses, the classic sign is difficulty reading fine print and the need to hold reading material farther away from the eyes. The aging process causes a thickening and loss of flexibility of the eye's lens. This prevents the lens from reshaping itself enough to read small print. If you don't have your vision checked and get corrective glasses, the condition will affect more than your reading. It will also degrade your ability to spot pedestrians at night.

Other age related conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration also affect your night vision during their early stages. Both of these conditions are the leading causes of blindness in their advanced stages. While these conditions are age related, they're also more likely to occur in people who fail to protect their eyes from the sun's ultraviolet radiation.

Whatever the age related condition that's blurring your vision, don't put off getting it diagnosed and corrected. It will gradually worsen over time to the point where it affects your daytime driving and ability to read signs.

Other age related problems include less tolerance to nighttime road glare. The pupil takes longer to dilate and constrict when adjusting to glare at night. To compensate for this, you should keep both the inside and outside windshield surfaces clean, dim your dashboard instrument lights, and look at the right edge of your lane when passing oncoming traffic. Allow more following distance at night.

Don't be one of those individuals who fail to get their vision corrected until forced to because they failed their license renewal vision test. The safety of yourself and those on the road depend on your vision.

If a negligent motorist injured you in an accident, seek legal advice from an experienced Alaska car accident attorney. For more information and a free initial consultation, contact us.