How to be safer when driving at night

With the nights getting darker earlier and the winter setting in, you may be driving in the dark more often, and preventable accidents are of higher risk. Driving in the dark poses a number of more difficult scenarios. If you don’t see a hazard soon enough, your reaction time may be too late. So, if you’re driving in the dark more often and have concerns about your vision, here are some tips to make driving at night safer:

Ask for an anti-reflective coating on your glasses

If you wear glasses, you may be experiencing glare from lights, that makes seeing in the dark much more difficult. Your glasses can be adapted to solve this, ask for an anti-reflective coating, this will increase visibility and reduce the glare.

Use your lights effectively

It’s especially important that you perform regular checks on your cars’ lights, to ensure they’re working correctly. Remember to use your full beam when driving along country roads with no lighting to ensure you can see the full road ahead. It’s important to switch back to your dipped lights as soon as you see another vehicle approaching though so that you don’t dazzle them.

Don’t stare directly at oncoming lights

If you stare directly at another vehicle’s lights, you could get dazzled and lose your bearings. It can become difficult to see other things around you when lights are approaching. So, slow down, follow the white lines on the road and be cautious.

Take extra caution at junctions

The darker time of year sees a much higher number of accidents at junctions. There are pedestrians, animals and children about in the dark, often not wearing reflective wear. When approaching a junction, take extra care to check that there are no pedestrians, animals or oncoming vehicles.

If there are any changes to your eyesight, take action

Even if you are not due an eye test, night-time driving can uncover some eye problems that you weren’t aware of. Many people purchase night driving glasses to try to overcome this. However, if you are having trouble seeing whilst driving at night, the best course of action is to book an eye test and get the correct prescription.

Keep your windscreen clean

A combination of condensation on the inside and dirt from the outside can increase glare and add to night-time driving difficulties. To prevent accidents caused by poor visibility, take the time to keep your windows clean.

As well as taking these precautions to make driving at night safer and easier, there are ways to improve your vision or prevent it from deteriorating:

  • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin A is good for your vision. Include lots of dark leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes and lettuce in your diet
  • Do eye exercises
    • Although these won’t cure your vision, eye exercises may help to stop our eyes getting strained. Try making a figure of 8 with your eyes towards to floor for 30 seconds. Then again for another 30 seconds in the opposite direction
  • Stop Smoking
    • Studies have shown that smoking can stop the eyes from producing rhodopsin, which is a pigment responsible for night vision
  • Protect your eyes year-round
    • Over-exposure to bright lights can have a long-lasting effect on your night vision. Remember to always wear sunglasses when needed, and not to have the brightness too high on digital devices.

If you have any concerns, questions or doubts about your eyesight whilst driving at night, then book an appointment with us, and we’ll arrange a time for a comprehensive eye examination.