Tips for Night Driving
As September rolls around, the daylight hours become shorter and night driving occurs earlier in the evening. If night driving is difficult for you, millions of Americans feel the same way. Newer drivers can lack the experience to deal with night driving, not to mention the confidence. The National Safety Council says “Traffic death rates are three times greater at night than during the day.”
Here are some night driving safety tips.
- Clean your windshield inside and out.
- Lights matter – make sure yours are aimed correctly and working properly.
- Don’t look directly into the lights of oncoming traffic.
- Distance and speed count. Make sure to allow extra time to stop.
- Avoid distractions such as texting or tuning the radio.
- Watch for pedestrians and other roadside hazards.
There are things such as cataracts that affect night driving for older adults. Cataracts are not painful; however, they gradually cloud your lens. The eye’s lens is located behind the pupil. As you age cells grow and die inside of the lens. This causes debris to build up and leads to cataracts. One of the first symptoms of cataracts is decreased visibility at night. Blurry vision is also common with cataracts or seeing halos around objects.
Our pupils decrease in size and don’t dilate as dramatically in darker conditions, making it more difficult to see clearly at night. By about age 60, the human eye requires three times more light to see than at age 20. This normal decline in vision makes driving at dusk and in dark conditions more challenging for seniors. For some drivers, the effect could be as severe as wearing sunglasses while driving at night.
The cornea also clouds as the eye ages, scattering light and making older drivers sensitive to glare. This makes things like reflective road signs, the glare of streetlights on wet pavement, or headlights of oncoming vehicles harder to manage.
Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®, offers this advice for senior drivers experiencing challenges with their vision during nighttime driving: “Having bright new headlights bulbs can help seniors have clearer vision at night. Wearing yellow-tinted glasses can help cut night glare. Be aware of driving during sunrise and sunset times as the glare and lighting can make it difficult to see the road and traffic clearly. Snow and ice can cause vision issues. Always remember to clean off all the snow on all windows, lights, and signals. Make sure you can see and be seen. If driving at night is still an issue, it’s best not to take the risk and drive during daylight hours.”
If night driving is difficult for you give our offices a call at 724-443-6767 or 724-226-0444 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.