2 minute read

Color Blindness

Adapting To A Different World

Color blindness generally does not cause a great deal of hardship. However, there is evidence that individuals who are color blind may face higher risks on the road. A German study found that men who were color blind were twice as likely to have rear-end collisions as were men who had normal vision. About seven million North American drivers can not distinguish easily between red and green lights.

Designers of traffic signals are working to make driving easier for color-deficient motorists. Traffic lights are generally made in a standard format today, with red on top, amber in the middle and green at the bottom. One improvement would be changing the shape of each of the different signals, so that color-deficient drivers could more easily distinguish between stop and go. Another possible change would involve altering the color of brake lights. Experts bemoan the fact that people who are color-deficient can not see the red in brake lights clearly.

There is no cure or treatment for color blindness. However, there is an abundant amount of research concerning the nature of vision in people with normal and limited color discrimination. As researchers become more knowledgeable about the process of sight, correction of color blindness may become a possibility.

See also Eye; Vision disorders.



Donn, Anthony. "The Eye and How it Works." The Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Complete Home Medical Guide. 2nd Ed., 1989.

Kunz, Jeffrey R.M., and Asher J. Finkel. "Color Blindness." The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide. New York: Random House, 1987.


Chandler, David G. "Diabetes Problems Can Affect Color Vision." Diabetes in the News (May-June 1993): 42.

"Color Blindness Misconceptions." USA Today February 1992., 16.

Mollon, John. "Worlds of Difference." Nature Vol. 356. (April 2, 1992): 378-379.

"Not Seeing Red." The University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter (August 1993): 2.

Patricia Braus


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


—Eye disease characterized by the development of a cloudy layer in the lens of the eye.


—The structures that carry genetic information in the form of DNA. Chromosomes are located within every cell and are responsible for directing the development and functioning of all the cells in the body.


—A chemical combination of atoms, and the smallest amount of a chemical substance.


—An extremely light-sensitive layer of cells at the back part of the eyeball. The image formed by the lens on the retina is carried to the brain by the optic nerve.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Cluster compound to ConcupiscenceColor Blindness - Reds And Greens, Inherited Or Acquired Defect, Adapting To A Different World