Vision troubles mean road HAZARDS!
8% of men, fewer women,
Sub-standard night vision
(Vitamin A deficiency)
56% of “accident repeaters”
can't see well sidewise
POOR GLARE RESISTANCE
After passing headlights,
driver travels 73' blind
T 0 Z
L P E D
P E C r D
E D r c z P
Majority of adult
Americans can’t pass 20/20
test and/or have astigmatism
Test Yourself: What Do You See When You Drive?
When you are hitting it up in your car at high speeds,
how well can you see?
Why, I can see all right, you say. The road stretches
ahead perfectly clear. You can spot the cars, trucks,
curves and bridges without difficulty.
But what else do you see? It may surprise you to
know that the narrow strip of road is just about all that
you can see, traveling at high speeds, says the Better
By making a few simple self-tests, and thinking
about what they mean, you can catch a glimpse of the
true function and importance of the eyes in driving a
car. The factor of vision has scarcely been touched in
the mad search for the cause and prevention of road
accidents, which caused 38,300 deaths and IV2 million
non-fatal injuries in 1955.
Here is the simplest kind of test. At a crossroad is
a post bearing half a dozen names of towns and villages,
one above the other. How many of the names can you
read at 60 m.p.h.? You have remarkably good eyes if
you can “grab” even the top one. The others are a
AT THE NEXT road crossing, drop down to 40 and
you can probably read at least two of the names. At
30 you may take in three or four.
That proves beyond a doubt that one part of your
vision goes to pieces at high speeds. It is the part
which includes objects flashing past you at the sides
of the road.
Why does this break-down in vision take place? It
may be because the eye, like a camera lens, just can’t
work fast enough to capture a speeding object. Or it
may be that the eye registers the image all right, but
the brain, which really does our seeing, can’t recognize
or distinguish the images formed by the eye.
Here is another way of making the test. Look straight
out of the side window at the scenery. WeU, you' seem
to see that all right! Trees, houses, animals, all are
But they are only distinct because unconsciously you
let your eyes travel backwards with each flying object
for a fraction of a second, as you fix on it. That gives
time for recognition. If you doubt this, try looking out
of the window through a cardboard tube, held perpen
dicular to the line of the car’s movement. (Better let
somebody else drive the car!) You will see nothing but
a confused blur because your eyes cannot dwell any
where long enough to recognize objects.
WHEN YOU are jogging along at 20 miles per hour,
not only the road is clear, but so are objects covering
a wide range on each side of it as you look straight
ahead. Your vision at that speed approximates your
normal vision, walking or sitting still.
But as you step up the speed, the clear area on each
side contracts toward the center. The side areas may
not look foggy. All you can say is that at the lower
speeds you were recognizing objects far to the right and
left without shifting your eyes, whereas now you are
not recognizing them.
So it turns out to be a startling fact that, at high
speeds, you are driving through a kind of self-created
visual tunnel, your “corner-of-the-eye” vision virtually
demolished and even your direct vision thrown into
confusion when the eyes are turned sideways on pass
ing objects. None of your seeing ability remains un
impaired except the look straight ahead down the road.
Even that may be affected in insidious ways.
RESEARCH may some day prove that vision is the
key fact in managing a car—see right, and you will
drive right. Meanwhile, you yourself can set up a new
standard for your own safe speed, based on the ex
periments you have made: when side vision is a blur,
step on the brake.
Further, the Better Vision Institute reminds you, con
sult an eyesight specialist to learn whether you have
any visual defects that can be corrected with driving
glasses. If so, get and wear the glasses. Tinted lenses
are preferred for daylight driving, with your prescrip
tion “ground in.” Ordinary sunglasses are more of a
hazard than a help when your vision is faulty.
THE NARROWING ANGLE OF DRIVER VISION