Driving a flatbed can put you under highly demanding conditions requiring you to stay physically fit and visually healthy. You need to clearly see not just what’s in front of you but also what’s behind you and at your sides. What you can see is important in making the right decisions for every situation, especially as it affects your safety and that of the general public while on the road.
Vision Requirements for CDL
When you apply for CDL, one of the basic requirements is for the applicant to have 20/40 vision in each eye as measured by the Snellen test. This test uses an eye chart that measures the driver’s ability to clearly see what an average person should see clearly. To get a CDL, you are required to have:
- A 20/40 score on the Snellen test. If you can’t meet this requirement, you may use contact lenses and glasses to achieve the score.
- Have a field of vision that extends at least 70 degrees on each side.
- Must have no condition that affects your ability to identify colors. You should be able to distinguish the traffic signals green, red and amber.
Even if you are driving on a non-commercial license, you have no excuse for not maintaining good eyesight. It is a must to protect lives.
Importance of Regular Eye Screenings
You should get regular eye screening as much as you get physical exams. This is especially true if you experience any symptoms affecting your eyes. Doing so can help detect potential eye problems at an early stage while they are still easy to treat. Common eye problems that can affect your driving ability are blind spots, blurred vision, halos and floaters.
Symptoms to watch out for:
- Red and painful eye
- Partial or total loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Double vision
- Blind spots or halos around lights
- Distorted vision in certain areas
- Eye injury
- Trouble seeing at the sides of your visual field
- Trouble seeing at night
- Itching or fluid coming from one or both eyes
Eye care professionals who can help you:
Optometrists – These professionals conduct eye exams and diagnose eye conditions. Depending on the results, they prescribe contact lenses, glasses or eye medicines.
Ophthalmologists – They are medical doctors who diagnose and treat conditions affecting the eyes. They also do surgeries. Furthermore, they are also licensed to provide routine vision care services such as prescribing contact lenses and glasses.
Tips to Keep Your Eyesight at its Best
1. Eat a balanced diet
What you’re eating can affect your eye health. In particular, consuming foods that are high in antioxidants such as foods that are rich in vitamins A, C and E; omega-3 fatty acids; and zinc can keep your macula healthy. Macula is the central part of the retina and it is responsible for your central vision. Some of the foods that are best for your eyes are:
- Leafy greens
- Sweet potato
2. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise is not only good for your waistline but for your eyes also. People who are overweight are prone to Type 2 diabetes which in turn causes many complications including diabetic retinopathy. This condition causes the small vessels and arteries in your retina to leak fluid and blood into the eye, affecting your vision.
3. Wear protective eyewear
Whether you are driving under the heat of the sun, working on vehicle maintenance in your garage, or doing other sorts of things, it is important to wear an appropriate eyewear. This will protect your eyes from harmful UV light, sharp objects and other materials that can potentially damage them.
4. Don’t smoke
Smoking is directly linked to a wide range of health conditions including macular degeneration (AMD). Smokers are more likely to develop AMD than those who never smoked. Moreover, smokers also have a higher risk of developing cataracts.
5. Be aware of your family history
Some eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and AMD run in the family. Knowing your family’s history of eye diseases can help you do the necessary precautions to reduce your risk.
6. Get a baseline eye exam
Even if you don’t develop signs or symptoms of eye disease, getting a baseline eye screening is vital as you approach the age of 40. This is the typical age when signs of eye diseases may start to occur. Depending on your condition, your ophthalmologist will recommend the necessary interval for your follow-up exams.
Having a perfect eyesight may seem difficult to achieve especially as you age. Our tips could help you keep your eyesight at its best which is important for hotshot trucking.