Studies suggest that about 60% of the motor vehicle accidents in West Virginia and around the country involve a driver with impaired vision. Getting behind the wheel with blurred or restricted vision is so dangerous because drivers make about 90% of their decisions based on the things they see. The problem is also a widespread one. According to some experts, almost one in four drivers around the world have an uncorrected eyesight problem.
Poor vision not only makes it more difficult to drive a car safely, but it also increases the chances of developing anxiety or depression. In 2013, researchers found that adults with eyesight problems were 90% more likely to suffer from depression, and a 2007 study discovered a link between diminished peripheral vision and heightened anxiety. Stress, anxiety and the symptoms of depression distract drivers and are leading causes of motor vehicle accidents.
Reducing the risks
Getting regular eye checks and heeding the advice of ophthalmologists and optometrists are the best ways to avoid a vision-related accident. This is especially important for people who have difficulty seeing in low light and may need special glasses for night driving. Eyeglasses should be coated with anti-reflective material to reduce glare, and car windows, windshields and lights should be kept as clean as possible. Some modern cars make driving in poor visibility less of a challenge by using heat-sensing cameras and audible alerts to identify and warn drivers about pedestrians or animals in the roadway.
Health records in car accident lawsuits
Police reports do not always mention health conditions that could have contributed to a motor vehicle accident. When the available evidence does not appear to tell the entire story, experienced personal injury attorneys may use subpoenas to obtain the medical histories of defendants in car accident lawsuits. These records could reveal that a driver has vision problems, suffers from a condition that impairs their ability to drive or may have been under the influence of a narcotic medication when they crashed.