Eyesight by age 4 min read

Why young people should be mindful of their vision on the road

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Few privileges feel as freeing as finally being able to drive. While young drivers have reason to be excited about their newfound freedom, they should also be mindful of the risks and responsibilities. Without years of driving experience, it may be hard to fully understand how important it is to maintain full focus and clear vision on the road.

Below are five reasons why young people are at higher risk behind the wheel than other drivers, including the likelihood of distraction and lack of experience, as well as tips on how to join the driving community safely:

 

1 - Over 30% of road accident victims are under the age of 25

According to Youth For Road Safety, road collisions are responsible for the highest fatality rate of people between 15 and 29 years old. Whether the young person is driving a car, riding a bicycle or just a pedestrian, the fatalities total to more than 1,000 per day. 

While many factors contribute to this number, the message is clear: Young people are a higher risk on the road. Having sharp vision and a keen focus on the road can reduce this number and help save young lives.

 

2 - Young people have less experience operating a vehicle

Like any other skill, expertise comes with practice. Younger drivers don't have the same level of experience on the road so are less able to perceive or recognize hazards, control the vehicle, or make quick decisions.

Attention and alertness when on the road are essential at any age. However, until drivers have collected plenty of driving years under their (safety) belts, young people should be especially vigilant about their vision and how they're able to perceive their surroundings when travelling by car, bike or foot.

 

3 - Young people are more likely to be distracted or careless

Nearly 16% of young drivers admit to being on their phones while on the road. However, with one in four car collisions due to texting and driving, there's reason to believe that percentage is higher than the number reported.

Peeking down for a few seconds to check a text or read an email may seem like a harmless habit, but the truth is you're putting yourself and others in danger. To put it into perspective, looking down at your phone for five seconds at 55 miles per hour is equivalent to driving the length of 100 yards, just a little shorter than a football pitch, with your eyes closed

Man texting and driving

When you think about it that way, glancing down for a moment sounds quite dangerous. Besides the distraction of technology, young people are more likely to drive carelessly. Including speeding, running red lights or stop signs, paying attention to friends in the car instead of the road, and weaving through traffic. This sense of recklessness is only intensified by drivers who have poor vision, either because of distraction or a need for vision correction.  

 

4 - Young people may continue driving when conditions are not safe

When visibility is low, weather is terrible, or conditions are lacking, it's common for people to avoid driving because it isn't considered safe. If conditions become bad on the road, experienced drivers know how to adjust their driving to accommodate for those conditions or if they should wait for a better time to drive. 

Whether it's due to carelessness or lack of experience, young people are more likely to go out on the road in unsafe driving conditions. They're also less likely to lower their speed or know how to alter their driving technique when visibility is low, or when the weather is unsafe.  

Whether you're in a car, on a bike or just walking around, being on the road in bad weather can be extremely dangerous because it can affect how well you see the road. While wearing sunglasses or eyewear with an anti-reflective coating on the lenses can help you see others more clearly in bright sunny conditions, it doesn't change how well other cars can see you. 

Unless your reason for driving is urgent, it's best to wait until conditions improve before continuing on your journey.

 

5 -Young people are more likely to drive a vehicle that isn't roadworthy

Typically, drivers under 25 don't drive the newest, safest cars. Whether it's a hand-me-down from a family member or a vehicle that you saved up to purchase yourself, first cars aren't always in top form. 

Because budgets are tight, college-aged drivers sometimes put off routine or required maintenance and repairs, making their vehicles less than roadworthy. Young drivers are also less likely to notice (or check) if their tyres look low. Regardless of how new or old the car is, taking care of it with regular maintenance is of utmost importance for travel safety. 

Through its partnership with Michelin, Essilor is raising awareness around the importance of regular tyre checks and providing accessibility to equipment to ensure drivers and their vehicles are safe. 

It's important to encourage young drivers to practice safe driving habits from the start, especially where regular vision checks are concerned. The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile's (FIA's) Golden Rules for Road Safety are excellent guidelines to follow when on the road and on the way to becoming a capable and responsible driver for many years to come.

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