Poor vision

This reminds me of the joke about the two pilots who were blind (unknowing to the passengers). On takeoff they would wait for the passengers to scream then they would pull up to get airborne. So one day the one pilot said to the other pilot: “I wish they would start screaming sooner because one day we will pull up too late”.

Would you get on a plane when you know the pilot is as blind as a bat or would you agree to undergo an operation when you know the surgeon has only fifty percent vision? My guess is that you probably answered NO to both questions. Now why is it OK to drive a vehicle when you have limited eyesight?

The police in Britain have recently done a roadside eye test blitz under new legislation. Not surprisingly, dozens of drivers failed the test. Some drivers could not even see further than a few meters ahead but were driving on a motorway! You cannot react to something you cannot see.

People may argue that as long as you drive slowly in town, you should be ok. This is definitely a flawed attitude because even if you go slow, other traffic go faster and there are many things happening on our roads every moment.

Poor observation was a factor in nearly half of all reported local crashes. Drivers may have had poor eyesight and/or did not look properly before they acted.

Why would you want to drive with only the park lights -, or no lights on when everyone else drive with the headlights turned on to indicate they experience lower visibility? This makes driving extremely dangerous because these vehicles blend into the background so drivers do not see them.

Get your eyes checked if you are in doubt about your vision. Turn on your headlights when low visibility conditions set in. This also goes for sun strike – the headlights of your vehicle may just help the affected driver to see you sooner. Make sure your car windows are always clean and clear.

Safer Journeys!

Daniel Naudé

Road Safety Coordinator