As we head quickly towards those winter months, it’s worth remember that driving during the winter certainly has its challenges. However, it’s not just ice and snow which can create a challenge for drivers. Winter driving also has a massive effect on your eyes.
With the trickery conditions that winter driving presents, it’s vital that your eyes are in tip-top condition. You will have to deal with reduced lighting when driving, as darkness remains for longer in the morning and descends earlier in the evening increasing the probability of your drive home taking place during hours of darkness. Another common issue during winter driving is sunlight causing glare during snowy conditions. This can reduce your vision immeasurably and have a major impact on how you and others drive.
Your eyes are also a very important tool in keeping aware of your surroundings. When driving, you always have to be alert of what others are doing: pedestrians, cyclists, other motorists and even animals such as dogs, cats or foxes. Without the proper vision and taking appropriate care of your eyes, that alertness could be reduced and could potentially lead to an accident.
We have put together some great tips on how to help your eyes deal with the challenges of winter:
- Get regular eye exams - Knowing that you have the necessary vision to safely operate a vehicle is important, especially during the winter. In the winter months visibility may be reduced and there are fewer hours of daylight which makes it more difficult to see. Other drivers have trouble dealing with the glare of the sun on snowy and icy surfaces. Get your eyes checked out at least once a year and remember that it is harder to see in the winter, so slow down.
- Make sure your contacts or glasses prescription is up-to-date – Regular eye exams are very important to ensure that your prescription is up-to-date and your vision is the best that it possibly can be. If your prescription is not up-to-date then you could suffer from nausea, headaches, blurred vision, strained eyes, dizziness which would be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous when driving.
- Keep a spare pair of glasses in the car – You should always keep a spare pair of glasses in the car in order that you have a back-up if your glasses were to become broken or if your contacts become uncomfortable through extended wear.
- Pull over if your eyes feel tired – If you begin to feel weary or tired then you should pull over at the first opportunity where it is safe to do so.
- Invest in some high quality UV sunglasses – Contrary to popular belief, sunglasses are not just a summer fashion accessory. Glare from the sun could potentially lead to temporary blindness whilst driving so make sure you are fully prepared for that journey ahead.