Driving at night can be scary and even paralyzing, especially as we age. The fear of losing the freedom to stay mobile is hard for many seniors to accept as they face inevitable changes to their bodies and minds.
Loss of vision is one of the changes that will affect us all. In fact, it is not unusual for people over 40 to begin to experience deterioration of their vision which ultimately affects their ability to drive. Even though it’s impossible to stop Father Time, it’s important to be aware of the signs that may be affecting your ability to drive.
Four signs to look for:
- You need more light to see clearly. If you have cataracts, the light entering your eyes is dimmed and blurred. This makes it harder for you to see at night and to recognize important objects like street signs, pavement markings, raised curbs, medians, and more importantly, pedestrians, animals and other vehicles.
- Your peripheral vision diminishes. Aging eyes are less likely to see possible hazards at the edges of their field of vision.
- Your eyes are more sensitive to glare. The headlights of oncoming cars can be blinding to aging eyes, making driving at night especially difficult. Driving in bright sunlight may also be a challenge.
- Your eyes are harder to focus. If you have trouble focusing on nearby objects, it can be difficult to change focus quickly, as you glance at the speedometer and then try to refocus on the road. Blurry vision can also make it hard for you to read the speedometer.
If you are not yet ready to give up your car keys, taking these six simple precautions could help keep you safe behind the wheel:
- Get regular eye exams.
- Have cataract correction surgery if your doctor recommends it.
- Wear your contact lenses or glasses.
- Keep your mirrors, windshield and headlights clean.
- If possible, avoid driving at night, dusk or dawn.
- Check your blind spots often.
Call us to request a consultation at 888.296.0106 and let’s talk about your amazing eyes!