Those of us without perfect eyesight may find it a stressful adjustment each year. It can even be a dangerous one if we don’t take the dangers of night driving into consideration. We can make a big difference in our lives and the lives of those we pass on the road with a few basic precautions.
The road can look very different at night than it does in broad daylight, even to someone with perfect eyesight and excellent night vision. Upcoming curves and obstacles can be harder to notice through the deep shadows and the glare of oncoming headlights. Even if you’re confident that you can adjust to these conditions, not everyone on the road is in your situation, so we should all be extra careful to help minimize the risk of nighttime car accidents.
The older we get, the worse our night vision tends to become. This is because we gradually lose some of the rods in our eyes (the photoreceptors that distinguish between light and dark). At the same time, the lenses in our eyes become stiffer and cloudier over the decades, making focusing harder and increasing our sensitivity to glare. The combined result makes it harder to be confident in our night driving.
Early symptoms of eye problems that can eventually compromise your safety on the road at night include cloudy, dim, or blurry vision, increased glare, halo effects around lights, and eye fatigue. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, we urge you to schedule an eye exam. We might be able to correct the underlying problem or address them with a change in glasses prescription.
Mild to moderate night driving difficulties can sometimes be mitigated with aids and solutions, including wearing night driving glasses, being well-rested before getting on the road, and eating plenty of eye-healthy foods. These include carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach. Something as simple as keeping the windshield, windows, and headlights clean can make a big difference.
Past a certain point, it’s simply safer and wiser to avoid driving at night. We know how inconvenient this can be, but it’s worth the effort to stay safe and no longer have to worry about the danger of driving in those conditions.
If night driving has become more of a struggle lately, don’t put off your next eye exam. We’re happy to help you discover the cause and find the best solution. Bring us whatever questions or concerns you have about night driving or other vision-related issues.