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States With Weak Vision Requirements May Endanger Other Drivers

Are Older Drivers Dangerous? Does your state have weak vision requirements? If so, it may be putting your life at risk. Every state has the ability to set its own visual requirements for driving. A new report released by the Vision Council of America reports that states with the highest rates of fatalities resulting from car crashes need no vision screenings after the first application for a driver's license. Others need screenings occasionally, at eight or ten year intervals.

What this means is drivers may go years without a proper eye exam. Many will have visual problems and not realize it, putting their lives and the lives of others at risk as they drive.

Most states do have some requirements for license renewals, but that doesn't make up for the dozens of states that do not need vision rechecks after some time. Nine states have no vision screening requirements at all for drivers at licensing renewal time.

Still other states only need vision screenings for drivers over a specific age, while many others (almost half of all states) allow most drivers to go at least eight years before re-screening their vision.

The results of this study are alarming, showing that fatal crash rates are much higher in states with lax vision screening requirements.

Screening Terms For Aging Drivers
Unquestionably one's vision declines with age. It seems logical that states would launch compulsory vision screenings of drivers over a certain age to ensure they are still fit for driving. Many conditions, including diabetic retinopathy or cataracts, can hit adults as young as age 40. These conditions may impact one's ability to drive.

Some problems, including cataracts, are easy to fix. Other problems less so. Regardless of the problem it is important states sit up and take notice, and start reevaluating their driving rules for visual examinations.

The good news is with proper care and regular eye exams, most patients can treat minor visual problems and still drive safely. The Department of Motor Vehicles can help promote this process by encouraging drivers to have routine visual exams every two years. The earlier a visual problem is caught, the more likely a doctor can treat it safely and adequately.

Nationwide Road Safety
This recent report may prove shocking to many, but is a good sign that people are taking the time to link good driving with good vision. Now that statistics are available linking deaths with poor vision, more states are likely to sit up and take notice. It is more important than ever that federal laws and state controls are enacted to protect drivers and ensure they preserve their visual acuity with time. Drivers with visual problems put everyone at risk. But, with regular vision care, drivers can improve their vision and become less of a risk to themselves and others on the road.

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