Top eye tips for better driving
This winter, Ireland’s weather has been unprecedented and deaths on Irish roads have increased for the first time since 2005.
Vision is our most important source of information when driving, so visual assessment for driving is a major public health issue.
“This year, for the first time in eight years, we have seen an increase in deaths on our roads. It’s a worrying time but if we have learned anything over the last few years, it’s that we all have the power to make a big difference. And now, more than ever, we need to redouble our efforts to keep our roads free from tragedy,’ says Michael Rowland, Director of Road Safety Research and Education with the Road Safety Authority.
But how safe are you? Here are our top tips for driving, as recommended by optometrists:
• Always carry a spare pair of glasses or lenses with you, especially on long journeys or when driving abroad
• Some glasses styles are better for driving than others - for example, thin rims and high sides improve all round vision
• Plastic or polycarbonate lenses are less likely than glass to shatter in an accident
• If you wear bifocals or varifocals, you should ask your optician to recommend the most suitable lens design for driving
• Polarising lenses reduce glare, making them ideal for driving during bright daylight hours
• You should keep your windscreen clean and your windscreen wipers in good order.
Vision at night
Amazingly, 20% of drivers in Ireland say that they can't see properly at night. If you think you may have a problem in this area, ask your optician for advice. The following tips, as recommended by optometrists, will also be useful:
• If you wear glasses, make sure your lenses are clean before you begin your journey
• Don't wear sunglasses or polarising lenses in low visibility or at night
• An anti-reflection coating will reduce headlight reflections and give you clearer vision in poor light conditions
• Never wear yellow tinted glasses at night - they darken shadows and can make it difficult to see cyclists and pedestrians
• Make sure your headlights are clean, at full strength and adjusted so they don't cause glare to other road users.