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How to steer clear of poor visibility

fog on roadPoor driving visibility is another problem which is taken lightly by most motorists. The problem is aggravated by a lot of environmental factors that increase poor visibility even for drivers who may have excellent eyesight. Here are some of the most common factors and some tips on how to neutralize them.

5 factors that increase the instance of poor visibility

  1. Very few governments the world over are strict when it comes to testing the eyesight of those applying for a driver’s license. Even the UK which has one of the most stringent eye exams for new license applicants don’t require a re-test until the driver reaches the age of 70;
  2. Many motorists today are unaware that they have vision problems and more than half of those who wear corrective glasses and contact lenses admit that they take them off while driving;
  3. Very few drivers regularly check if their windshield wipers and washers are fully functional before driving the vehicle;
  4. When driving during twilight, there is a short period of time when our vision is very poor while we try to get accustomed to the darkening environment;
  5. Natural conditions such as the sun’s glare, dust, rain, snow, etc.

10 tips on how to improve visibility for these situations

  1. Take the time to have your eyesight checked regularly, even when the law does not require it;
  2. To relieve or prevent the strain of eye fatigue, move your eyes from time to time and refrain from staring too long at a fixed point. Some contact lenses can actually increase the chance of eye fatigue. It is better to wear glasses instead of contacts while driving;
  3. It is a good practice to keep a spare pair of spectacles in your car;
  4. To reduce glare from the lights of incoming traffic and even from the sun, light tint and anti-reflection coating can be applied to your spectacles or even your windshield;
  5. Of course, never wear tinted glasses or visors after dark or during conditions of poor visibility such as heavy rain, fog or snowfall;
  6. When taking medication, ask the doctor whether such medicine may impair your vision or slow down your reflexes;
  7. Keep your windows clean. Make sure that your defogger and windshield wipers work and that windshield washers are filled correctly;
  8. Be wary when driving during twilight and turn on your running lights for other people on the road to see you better;
  9. When driving at night, adjust your rear view mirror to avoid the beam of the headlights from the vehicles behind you from hitting your eyes directly;
  10. And last but certainly not least, if you have someone sitting in the passenger seat, let that person help you watch out for road signs and incoming hazards.

When it comes to the problem of road visibility, you can’t be too complacent. Regularly test your eyesight, slow down when necessary, always take care and don’t be embarrassed to ask help. Just remember, as Dave Barry says:

The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.

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