How Car Design Effects Eyesight And Safety

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Car Design And Best Vision

Visibility from an automobile is a major factor in safety while driving. It is a somewhat complex science that is  unfortunately often short changed for appearance. Cars typically have two posts (referred to as pillars)  supporting the roof, the A posts are located on either side of the window shield and the B posts are between the front and back seats. The angle of the window shield has a large bearing on the blind spots creating in front.  While a vertical A post provides the least obstructions to vision, the poor aerodynamics reduce gas mileage from the air resistance.  A sharply angled widow shield, while reducing air friction, greatly decreases the field of vision.  The difference is analogous to a large bulky pair of eyeglasses compared to contact lenses.  The small triangle window sometimes added to the side window can also block vision for shorter drivers. The B post (or pillar), can also leave a blind spot and interfere with eyesight.  It seems that the best location for The B post to protect from side impacts is more of an obstruction to vision.  Also, the sturdier pillars that offer much more protection are inevitably thicker and more of an obstacle to seeing objects on your side. While head rotation can help, other technology is in development.

Choose A New Car That Doesn’t Restrict Your Vision

The Volvo concept car uses special front A pillars the have areas you can see through. The B pillars can be curved in towards the top to open up the visual field, especially useful to taller drivers.  The next time you are considering purchasing a car carefully examine the limitations on sight while sitting in the drivers seat and compare a few cars. If more than one family member will be driving, everyone should compare how well they can see, since height differences can cause radical changes in blind spots.

Optimize Your Eyesight For Driving-See Your Optometrist

After you purchase the car,  remember all of that effort will be wasted if your vision is sub-optimal  See your eye doctor for the best corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses you can wear.  Accidents are common at night due to the reduced capacity of the retinal rod cells compared to the cone cells used in daylight. Anti-reflection coating on eye glass lenses are very effective today and add almost 10% more visibility.  Polarized lenses are essential for safe driving at dawn or dusk when driving head on into the sun. And of course, if you are looking at your cell phone, you won’t see anything regardless of how well designed the automobile is made.

Alcohol, drugs, and fatigue all not only impair motor skills and judgement but also can interfere with vision and focusing.

Finally, remember it is illegal and not acceptable for the community to drive without automobile insurance.  Make sure your insurance agent is providing you and everyone involved with the type of protection they need for the hazards of driving. In Fort Collins, longtime resident ballroom teacher extraordinaire Andre Volosov is particularly good at helping you understand the type of automobile insurance you need to protect your family.

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