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Vision and Safe Night Driving

The days are shorter in winter, so we inevitably end up driving at night a little more.

Any of us who don’t have perfect eyesight can find this a stressful adjustment to make each year, and it can be a dangerous one if we’re not taking the dangers of night driving into careful consideration. When we do, we can make a big difference in our own lives as well as the lives of those we pass on the road.

Occupational Hazards of Night Driving

Even with perfect eyesight, the road looks very different at night than it does in broad daylight. Obstacles and upcoming curves are harder to notice between the glare of oncoming headlights and the deep shadows everywhere. Even if you are confident in your own ability to adjust to night driving conditions, not everyone on the road with you is, and we all need to be more careful to minimize the risk of an accident at night.

Aging Only Makes Driving at Night Harder

As we get older, our night vision tends to worsen. The reason for this is that we gradually lose some of the rods in our eyes (the specialized light-detecting cells that distinguish between light and dark). Along with other age-related eye problems, the lenses in our eyes also grow stiffer and cloudier over the decades, making it harder to focus while increasing our sensitivity to glare. The end result is greater difficulties with driving at night.

Be Conscious of Changes in Your Eyesight

The early symptoms of eye problems that can make safe night driving a greater challenge include blurry, dim, or clouded vision, increased glare, eye fatigue, and halo effects around lights. If you’ve started noticing these symptoms, it’s a good idea to schedule an eye exam. We might be able to correct the issue through a stronger glasses prescription or another solution may be necessary.

Aids for Safe Night Driving

There are a few solutions and aids we can use to counteract mild to moderate night driving difficulties, such as night driving glasses, getting enough sleep, and eating eye-healthy foods like spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Another simple factor is making sure the windshield and windows are clean and the headlights aren’t fogged over.

After a certain point, it becomes safer and wiser to simply avoid driving at night. While this can be very inconvenient, it’s worth the effort to stay safe and not have to worry about the danger of driving in conditions that make it hard to see clearly.

Take Advantage of the Eye Doctor

If you’ve been struggling more with night driving lately, schedule an eye exam! We’re happy to help determine the cause and find a solution. Bring us any questions or concerns you have about night driving. We’re looking forward to seeing you again!

Whether you’re on the road in the day or the night, drive safe this season!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.