Learn to Drive | Your Teen May Not Know They Have a Color Deficiency
by Anne Marie Hayes
When we learn to drive it is vital that traffic lights and traffic signs be seen correctly. Studies show that 80% of what we learn is done visually. Any impairment in our visual skills reduces how well we learn. Safe driving requires constant visual attention. If a driver takes their eyes off the road for as little as 4 seconds they are at high risk of a crash. Teens learning to drive a car face many visual distractions and often are not sure where they need to be looking.
The colors of traffic lights, caution lights, and emergency vehicle lights are important when teens learn how to drive a car. However a very common affliction is called a “color deficiency”. The person is not color blind but they are unable to distinguish certain hues or shades of a particular color range. Red and green color deficiency is common in males. Your teen may have a color deficiency and not know it.
Not every state has mandatory eye tests to obtain a Learner’s permit and color deficiency is not always tested. To ensure your teens eyes are OK to drive have them tested by a licensed Optometrist. You may also find that if your teen needs eyeglasses for driving a car they also need glasses for attending there classes. It may also help raise their marks!
There are other eye problems that can sometimes go unnoticed so it is always a good idea to have your teens eyes tested. If you, as a parent, need glasses there is high probability your children will also.
A study in Utah found that 20 percent of teenagers did not see well enough to pass a driver license test. A campaign was started by a group called ”Friends for Sight” to raise funds for free eye testing. Through the “Check the Box — Drive for Sight” campaign, more than a million Utahns have received free vision tests before getting their driving permit.
The attached video has a sample color deficiency test but as it says in the video it is best to consult a vison care specialist before reaching a diagnosis. Look at video with your teen. You may find that the one with the color deficiency is you!