Signs You Need Glasses for Driving - Primera Eye Care | Lake Mary Optometrist
 

Signs You Need Glasses for Driving

Driving with impaired vision is dangerous for yourself and others
Read Time: 3 minutes
Jun 14, 2022

You use your eyes a lot when you drive. Not only do you need to be able to see where you’re going and read signs, you also need to be able to avoid hitting pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists. If you need glasses, then you may be endangering yourself and those around you while you’re driving. If you’re experiencing any of the following signs while you’re driving, see an eye doctor right away to discuss getting glasses or contact lenses so you can drive safely. Additionally, depending on where you live, you could get a ticket or have your driver’s license revoked if you’re caught driving without glasses when you need them.

What Are the Signs You Need Driving Glasses?

The most important thing is that you can drive safely. Driving requires all aspects of your vision:

  • Peripheral vision
  • Color recognition
  • Depth perception
  • Detailed vision
  • Identifying contrasts
  • Focus
  • Reading at a distance
  • Seeing in differing lights

If even one of these visual skills is lacking in some way, it can impact your ability to drive safely. The following are some signs that you may need glasses to drive safely.

You Have to Squint to See

a woman squinting to see while lifting her glasses

If you find yourself squinting in order to read street signs and building addresses, then that’s a sign that you may need glasses. Squinting to be able to see at any time is a sign that you may need glasses, but it’s especially important to pay attention to when you might be squinting while you’re driving because of the danger involved. If you’re squinting to read a street sign, for example, you may not be able to pay as much attention to other hazards on the road.

Your Vision Is Blurry

If things appear blurred or fuzzy, whether you’re driving or not, that’s a sign you need glasses. In many states, you don’t have to have perfect 20/20 vision in order to qualify to drive. However, whether you’re legally allowed to drive or not, it’s important to make sure that you’re driving safely. If your vision is blurred when you drive, you should get your eyes checked so that you can see clearly.

You Get Headaches

Vision and headaches are tied together. If you’re getting a lot of headaches, it may be because your eyes are working harder than they should be. Headaches are a sign that your eyes are overworked and tired. If they’re trying to compensate for poor vision that glasses could correct. Headaches alone aren’t necessarily a sign of vision problems because there are many potential causes of headaches. However, if you’re getting them very frequently, seeing your eye doctor could solve the problem.

You Have Difficulty Driving at Night

Many people who need glasses for driving may find that they have difficulty in particular driving at night. They may have more trouble seeing road signs or find that optical halos appear around light sources such as street lamps or headlights from oncoming traffic that can make it difficult to see.

You See Halos at Night

a man driving at night with optical halos appearing around lights

If you need glasses, you may be bothered by lights from street lamps and from other vehicles while you’re driving at night. The lights may produce a halo effect, which can make seeing at night even more difficult, exacerbating your already existing vision problem.

You Can’t See Far Away

It takes time to stop a car or to change direction in the event of a hazard. If you can’t see things farther away, then you’ll have less time in which to react. This could cause an accident and endanger not only your own life but the lives of other people as well.

You Have Trouble Reading Signs

If you find that you’re having difficulty reading street signs and sometimes miss your turn because you can’t read the sign until it’s too late to turn, you need glasses for driving. If you can’t read street signs well, then you’ll likely have difficulty seeing other things easily while you drive, which can be a danger.

What Are the Legal Requirements for Driving without Glasses?

a vision test chart viewed through a pair of glasses

You don’t need to have 20/20 vision to drive. In many states, the limit at which you can legally drive is either 20/30 or 20/40 or better. However, even if your vision is 20/40 or better, if you don’t feel that you can drive safely or are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should see your eye doctor and get glasses so that you don’t endanger yourself or anyone else by driving without a visual aid.

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