Your ability to see clearly when driving changes with age. Limited vision is a very common reason many seniors are referred to a vision specialist, drive with restricted driver licenses, or have their driver privilege revoked. Some age-related vision changes that commonly affect seniors are:
- Not being able to see as clearly as before
- Having difficulty seeing an object up close
- Needing more light
- Noticing changes in color perception
- Having more difficulty seeing in the dark
- Being less able to adapt to glare
- Experiencing a loss of side vision
Effects on driving ability
Age-related vision conditions may cause some of the following effects on your driving ability.
- Bright sunlight or the headlights of oncoming traffic may impede your vision.
- It becomes more difficult to judge distances and speed.
- It becomes more difficult to distinguish road signs and to gauge oncoming traffic.
- Your eyes get tired easily making it more difficult to concentrate.
- Left-hand turns becomes difficult.
- Assessing right-of-way situations may become more difficult.
- Blurred vision may cause right-of-way problems.
What can I do for safer driving?
- Get regular eye exams. See your vision specialist at least every two years and more often if your eyes are changing rapidly.
- Limit yourself to daytime driving if you are having trouble seeing at night or your eyes have difficulty recovering from the glare of oncoming headlights.
- Turn your head frequently to compensate for any decreased peripheral vision.
- Add a larger rearview mirror to increase your field of view.
- Look ahead of your vehicle while driving so you will see trouble before you reach it. As a rule, in the city, look at least one block ahead, and on the highway, look 12 to 15 seconds ahead of your vehicle.
- Avoid wearing eyeglasses and sunglasses with wide frames or temples that may restrict your side vision.