Problems & Conditions
When it comes to driving, teens – like everyone else – rely on their vision more so than any other sense. The eyes are constantly in motion, focusing and refocusing as objects approach, and contending with distractions, such as oncoming headlights or the glare of the setting sun. Additional distractions include teens’ inexperience behind the wheel, other passengers, the radio and digital devices.
Because they are new to driving, all this activity can take a toll on teens’ eyes not only because they are not used to driving but also by causing the eyes to become strained, which in turn can reduce safety and effectiveness while driving. That is why keeping eyes well-rested and preventing them from becoming strained in the first place should always be a top priority. Following the advice and tips below will help teens ensure they are taking the appropriate, vision-related precautions while behind the wheel and on the road.
- If they require glasses, teens should always wear prescription eyewear when driving and be sure that the glasses are clean.
- Whether behind the wheel or in a car as a passenger, teens should still wear sunglasses that provide protection from the sun’s rays, which can cause vision impairment during peak driving hours.
- Teens should consider wearing no-glare or polarized lenses, minimizing reflections from the road, neighboring cars or other objects.
- Encourage teens to take breaks when driving long distances to reduce eye strain and fatigue.
- Show teens how to keep headlights, taillights and the windshield – inside and outside – clean, and emphasize the importance of reducing other distractions, particularly cell phones.
- Receive regular eye exams by an eye care provider to ensure that teens’ eyes are healthy and that their prescription remains current.