Seeing the Signs: Understanding If You Need Glasses for Driving
Let’s state this emphatically right out the gate: If you’re experiencing any difficulty with your vision while driving, either during the daytime or at night, make an appointment with your eye doctor today!
Reading signs, identifying the color of traffic lights, seeing oncoming vehicles from any direction, all of these things are vitally important to safe driving.
Driving is one of those specialized activities that asks a lot of your eyes. Your peripheral vision, depth perception, color recognition, the ability to make out details and contrast in differing light, your ability to focus, read at distance, all the very specific aspects of eyesight are called upon while you’re driving.
Symptoms to Watch For
As a general rule, the same symptoms you’d be keep an eye out for to tell you whether you may need glasses or contact lenses in everyday life, also apply while driving; it’s only that while driving, your eyesight becomes that much more important.
So, what are a few of the symptoms you should look out for?
- blurred vision
- double vision
- fuzzy or hazy vision
- “halos” around bright lights like oncoming headlights
- eyestrain, tired or irritated eyes
- specific trouble seeing and driving at night
Depending on your particular concerns, a variety of prescriptive treatments may be available to help your vision. Sometimes something as simple as polarized sunglasses can help with halos and glare, but if you’re having that trouble at night, sunglasses is probably not the best solution.
Unfortunately, sunglasses alone can’t solve all our vision problems, in fact, in some cases, they may exacerbate existing issues. To be really sure your eyesight is up to the driving challenge, a comprehensive eye exam is the best way to determine how your eyesight is at present, and what tools may help your vision if you’re experiencing and concerns.
Driving in Vermont
When you go to apply for or renew your driver’s license at the Department of Motor Vehicles, you may be asked to take a vision acuity test. Just as you would at any routine eye exam at your eye doctor, an in person vision test may include reading an eye chart. Difficulty reading the eye chart is a pretty clear indication that your eyesight may need further testing and possible correction.
The Vermont DMV specifically has a Driver Eyesight Evaluation form that can be seen online here. This form details how important it is that your eyesight, with or without correction, meet certain standards to allow for you to be a licensed driver in Vermont. The form, completed by your Optometrist/Ophthalmologist, only needs to be completed when the DMV requests it, and it is required if you are seeking to have the eyeglass restriction removed from your Vermont driver’s license.
As all of us get older, our vision invariably deteriorates to varying degrees. Vermont is specifically concerned with older, mature drivers and ask all of us to be aware of the concerns about vision while driving, especially with our older family and friends. Check out their discussion on Mature Drivers here, where the state highlights some warning signs that include both vision and general cognitive abilities, and ask you to assist in keeping Vermont roads safe.
Life Is A Highway
Wherever you’re going, we want to see that you get there safely. If you’re having any issues at all with your eyesight while driving, even little concerns here and there, only at night, or only when it’s really bright out, give us a call at (802) 223-2090 to schedule an appointment so we can help you get to the bottom of it.
Drive safe out there!