Is it better to drive with glasses or contacts?


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One in three motorists has a visual defect and ignores it. But according to the ASNAV (Association for the Improvement of the Vision), more than 90% of the decisions and gestures necessary to the driving of a car depend on the eyes of its driver.

A good quality of vision is therefore essential for driving during the day and especially at night. Indeed, it is estimated that 20% of those responsible for road accidents have an uncorrected deficient view. It is therefore necessary to have your eyes checked regularly before driving safely.

Visual functions useful for driving

• Vision from a distance: The anticipation of long distances and the ability to react when driving is linked to good visibility from a distance.
• Side view: It allows you to look straight ahead while watching the sides. Good lateral vision should detect all movements in an angle of about 180 °. The concept of speed is not provided by the images that the driver looks straight ahead, but by those that scroll on each side. Our peripheral vision is as indispensable to us as our central vision. The higher the speed, the lower the perception and the visual field.
road map • Binocular vision: it is the combination of the vision of the two eyes and resulting in a unique perception of the images. It ensures a good perception of the reliefs, the depth and the distances. Some people do not have good binocular vision, visual rehabilitation sessions can be prescribed by your ophthalmologist.
• Near vision: less important than the previous ones, but useful for reading information on the vehicle’s dashboard, GPS or road map.

Night driving

• At night, your view is less precise, the vision of colors and contrasts is altered, the appreciation of terrain or distances is distorted: this is called night myopia. The driver then tends to underestimate distances. There are three times more fatal accidents at night than during the day: it is often due to excessive speed combined with this impaired vision.

• Glare of poorly adjusted lights to blind the driver for a few seconds. It may be useful to have glasses specifically designed for night driving with yellow tinted lenses that will reduce lighting and reflections. It can be found in the auto department of supermarkets for a dozen euros.

Driving day and sunglasses

• Wear quality sunglasses treated with ultraviolet light. Category 4 sunglasses with very dark lenses are prohibited for driving Learn more about sun protection degrees

• The transition from a very sunny area to a very dark area such as a tunnel requires re-adaptation of the eye for a few seconds and the vision becomes ineffective during this period of time. To increase your visual comfort you can opt for sunglasses with polarized lenses.

Driving with contact lenses

• When driving, if you hesitate between glasses and lenses, choose lenses if you support them because they provide a wider field of view than glasses.
• If you wear lenses, have a pair of safety glasses. The possession of spare glasses is not a requirement, but it is strongly recommended to hold one, to compensate for the possible loss of a lens or incident related to the wearing of contact lenses such as dust in the eye.

Driving with glasses

• Goggles should be well cleaned, especially when driving at night, as scratches or dirt catch the light from the headlights and make night vision even more difficult.
• The frames are wide or curved and equipped with fine branches so as not to obstruct the lateral vision.

Surface treatments for glasses that offer better driving comfort

• Anti-reflective lenses reduce the glare of light and improve night vision comfort by reducing the glare effect of headlights or traffic lights.
• The tinted yellow or orange lenses bring contrast on the road, especially in rain or cloudy weather. In case of fog, the wearing of yellow, purple or orange lenses will also allow you to accentuate the contrasts and the reliefs.

• Polarizing treatment removes sun rays that strike the ground vertically. It eliminates the mirages on the road, but also a part of the reflections on the windshield.


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