One of the basic requirements (perhaps the most important) to be able to drive a vehicle is to have a view in perfect condition. The visual acuity is critical to the safety of the driver, passengers, and other drivers or pedestrians, cyclists, or any road user. However, the DGT warns that the vision of the Spanish has worsened during confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Loss Of Visual Acuity

The reason for the loss of road acuity, according to the DGT, is the increase in the use of mobile phones and other digital devices, especially during confinement but also during the following months due to a sudden change in daily activity and driving habits. consumption. The increase in a sedentary lifestyle, teleworking and leisure at home due to mobility restrictions translate into a considerable increase in the hours we spend in front of a screen.

Viewing and using screens according to the DGT, the worsening of visual capacity affects all age groups, although mainly young people (who are those who spend more hours in front of the mobile screen or video game consoles) and those over 70 years of age, who are those who have modified their habits the most by spending more time ‘locked up’ at home for fear of contagion. In both cases, they suffer the loss of visual attention, something very dangerous when traveling on the road.

The first, due to their age. The second, because they tend to be “distracted and crazy. Young and old, those who see the worst75% of citizens have had their vision worsened during confinement, according to data from the Vision and Life Association, which since 1955 has grouped optics and ophthalmology professionals. The youngest is especially concerned because we are dealing with the generation with a longer life expectancy, a very high mobility capacity, and great preparation, but they have much worse vision than their ancestors,  says optometrist Elisenda Ibanez to the magazine Traffic and Road Safety of the DGT.

According to data from Vision y Vida, 63.5% of young university students are myopic. “Poor vision limits a life in general. When it comes to facing the street, having difficulty distinguishing the traffic light being able to see a car or bicycle approaching, its speed, and calculating the distance are issues that can put our lives at risk explains Salvador Alsina, president of Vision and Life, to the magazine Traffic and Road Safety.

The data show that the loss of visual acuity has a direct impact on road safety. According to a recent study carried out by various ophthalmology experts from the University of Helsinki (Finland), almost 24% of road accidents are related to an observation failure or loss of visual attention. And according to data from the DGT, a quarter of accidents occur in the evening although vehicle traffic drops notably which can be deduced from a lack of visibility of the driver or what caused the accident.

Andres Gene,

president of the College of Opticians-Optometrists of the Valencian Community and a researcher attached to INTRAS, recalls that the most critical hours for road accidents are precise when the luminosity decreases (during dawn or dusk) which shows the importance of vision. A low visual capacity limits the perceptions, causing an inadequate vision of signs and elements of the road distractions and calculation errors to add Gene in statements to the magazine Traffic and Road Safety.

Away rule combat the loss of visual acuity and prevent eye fatigue due to the use of digital devices, the DGT recommends complying with the rule of 20/20 / far: every 20 minutes in front of a screen, rest for 20 seconds and looks into the distance. When we focus our gaze on a screen, blinking decreases significantly, so the eye becomes dry and the ocular surface loses visual capacity. Also, tears also reduce with age, something that, for hormonal reasons, reaches women (40-45 years) earlier than men (50-55 years). To alleviate this situation, opticians-optometrists recommend the use of artificial tears in addition to complying with the 20/20 / far rule.

Free Vision Check Experts

Also, recommend getting an eye exam at least once every two years to make sure you haven’t lost enough visual acuity to drive. Also, regular check-ups serve to prevent possible diseases, some not directly related to sight, such as glaucoma. Many opticians and eye clinics offer free eye exams. Look at the mobile addition, the DGT warns of some bad habits behind the wheel that have increased considerably in recent years, such as using a mobile phone while driving, one of the main causes of traffic accidents.

The body remembers that you should not take your eyes off the road at any time, much less if it is to look at your mobile. Don’t worry, it’s not your sight. It is the possible consequence of looking at your mobile while driving instead of the road. Do not do it even once in a while. At the wheel, switch from your mobile because a great gesture can save lives,  he recalled in a campaign a few years ago.