Sat | Sep 26, 2020

The value of good eyes to motorists

Published:Sunday | October 27, 2019 | 12:18 AMPaul Glenroy Messam - Sunday Gleaner Writer

It was W.B. Yates who once said, “Love comes in at the eye”. The eye has been called the most powerful and valuable sense organ, and rightly so. One’s field of vision is greater than any other sensory field. Therefore, your sense of sight is of paramount importance to the safe-driving process.

To defensively driving motorists, the eyes provide most of the information required to drive. While a driver manoeuvres the vehicle, his eyes are constantly sending messages to the brain, enabling him to appreciate shapes, colours, distances, and everything within his range of vision.

A motorist obtains most of his in-car driving information through what he sees. It does not take a complete examination by your doctor to obtain a fair idea of your physical capabilities behind the. Determining the sharpness of your sense, like strength of vision and hearing ability must be left up to your doctor.

“Whether we think we have eye problems or not, we should get our eyes tested,” advised Devon Smith, manager and optical technician at Your Vision… Our Reality.

“One needs to see clearly and quickly to be a good driver,” says Dr Hame Persaud.

Persaud explained that the brain directs your eyes to focus rapidly on objects and events in your path. Messages are sent back to the brain to be used along with stored information to help you identify hazards, predict conflicts, and decide how to execute driving manoeuvres.

“A defensive driver should make it a habit to switch on low beams whenever he is approaching or overtaking traffic,” says Norris Christian, a Gryphon International-trained instructor with over 20 years’ experience.

“The glare of the high-beam headlights in a driver’s eyes or in his rear-view mirror can radically reduce his vision.”

An experienced ophthalmologist made the point that your field of vision is all the area you can see when looking straight ahead. From a stopped position, the average person can see about 90 degrees to each side, which is a full half-circle, or 180 degrees. According to the ophthalmologist, as you learn to drive, your brain begins to direct your central vision towards objects and events important to driving.

She went on to explain that good peripheral vision attracts your attention to possible hazards, which you then identify with central vision. Visual acuity is the ability to see clearly and distinctly, both near and far. A safety-conscious driver must be able to read gauges on the instrument panel and road signs far ahead.

Pointers to note:

1. Get regular eye check-ups, especially if you have a family history of glaucoma.

2. If glasses are worn, follow the doctor’s orders closely.

3. Assuming that you have your eyes examined regularly, the best way to maintain good vision and to avoid trouble with your eyes is to develop good habits for eye care. Failure to wear protective eyes shields when working with dangerous materials. Careless use of toys

4. Try to avoid making your eyes work harder than they must.

5. Avoid excessive glare. Have sufficient light when reading or doing other work.

6. If foreign matter gets into the eyes, flush them with large amounts of clear water. Harmful chemicals and solid specks can best be removed with water. If this fails, do not rub the eyes. Consult your doctor for further checks and advice.

7. Avoid injury to the eyes.

8. Have a balanced diet inclusive of fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly.

It is incumbent on all drivers to ensure that what is seen, read, and understood is put into practice to enhance safe driving practices and therefore put the brakes on the wonton recklessness on our roads.