As the winter approaches and the days get shorter, more often we will find ourselves driving in the dark. It’s important to remember that after the sun sets, there are more challenges than driving during the daylight. Yet many people don’t realize the dangers that night driving presents, or safe and effective ways to handle them.
At night our vision is limited in many ways. Drivers have less contrast, and colors are more difficult to distinguish. Also, studies have shown that depth perception and peripheral vision are reduced as well.
Here are a few tips you can use to make sure you’re seeing your best, and therefore driving safely:
- When approaching an oncoming car, don’t look directly into their headlights. Instead look at the road or the white lines in front or off to the side. Staring into the light may leave a temporary spot in your vision, obstructing what you see for a few seconds.
- Another tip is to use antireflective (AR) treatments on your glasses. A high-quality AR lens increases the amount of light reaching your eye by 8% and reduces halos and glare from lights.
- Contact lenses may increase the glare or blurriness after wearing your lenses late into the night. Using the right solution and following your doctor’s recommended wearing time will give you better visual performance with your lenses.
- Adjust your vehicle’s interior lighting. Any source of light inside the car will seem extremely bright and will make it more difficult to see. You can also dim your dashboard lights to help with glare.
Obviously, safe driving starts with a thorough eye exam to make sure your eyes are healthy and there are no underlying conditions that may impact your vision. Make your next car ride a trip to the eye doctor!