The Challenges of Night Driving and Your Vision

The Challenges of Night Driving and Your Vision

Man driving at night

Do You Have Trouble Seeing While Driving at Night?

No matter what your age, night driving can be a little challenging, whether you're driving around the corner or across the country. Low lighting, glare, and other factors may make it difficult to see clearly and react quickly to hazards.

Why Driving Is Harder at Night

Your ability to drive safely at night may be affected by:

  • Availability of Street Lights. It's obviously more difficult to see in areas that aren't well lit. UK researchers discovered that injury severity increased by almost three times if an accident occurred on a road that had no lighting.
  • Glare. Glare, depending on the amount, can be a minor annoyance and or may make it impossible to see. You may experience more problems with glare from oncoming headlights as you get older.
  • Headlight and Windshield Problems. Dirty windshields and hazy or misaligned headlights can contribute to night vision problems.
  • Age-Related Vision Changes. In addition to trouble handling glare, natural changes in your vision related to aging may make night driving harder. As you get older, the muscles that control your pupil weaken, and the pupil becomes a little smaller. This means less light enters your eyes when it's dark. Rod cells also decline as you get older. These photoreceptor cells, located in the retina, are essential for good night vision.
  • Eye Diseases and Conditions. You may notice problems with glare and see halos around lights at night if you have cataracts. Cataracts occur when the clear lenses inside your eyes become cloudy. Other eye diseases and conditions that may affect night driving include macular degeneration, vitamin A deficiency, glaucoma, and retinal diseases.
  • Dry Eyes. Glare may seem worse if your eyes are too dry.

What You Can Do if You Have Trouble Driving at Night

Taking a few of these steps can help you drive safely:

  • Avoid Looking Directly at Lights. Minimize the effects of glare by shifting your gaze slightly to the side when oncoming cars come close to you.
  • Get Rid of Haze on Your Headlights. Discolorations on plastic headlight coverings can dim your headlights, making it difficult to see at night. If cleaning doesn't clear the headlight covers, buy new ones.
  • Realign Your Headlights: It's difficult to see the road ahead of you if your headlights aren't properly aligned. The next time you visit a mechanic, request to have your headlight alignment checked.
  • Do a Little Cleaning. Keeping headlights and your windshield clean will make it easier to find your exit or spot an obstruction in the road.
  • Keep Your Eyes Moist. Use artificial tears to lubricate your eyes if you have dry eyes. Blink more often to spread tears across your eyes.
  • Reduce Your Speed. Slow down if you're having trouble seeing. Decreasing your speed is a simple way to ensure that you reach your destination safely.
  • Drive During the Day if You Have Difficulty Seeing at Night. It's best to limit long trips, or even short ones, to the daylight hours if it's very difficult to see at night.
  • Visit Your Optometrist. If you've noticed that it's harder to see at night lately, it's a good idea to visit your eye doctor. Your optometrist can determine if the problem is caused by natural aging changes or eye diseases and conditions, like cataracts or glaucoma. If you do have a vision problem, your optometrist can recommend treatments or strategies that may help.

Are you concerned about your night driving ability? Call our office to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

Testimonials

  • This was my first time getting glasses & I was very pleased with how lovely the staff was! In addition, all of my questions were answered thoroughly & I loved how in-depth my prescription was described to me. The selection of glasses is wonderful! Love, love, love Helmus Optometry! 

    - Andi V.
  • My experience with Dr. Joann Helmus and the team at Helmus Optometry was excellent from start to finish. Office staff were kind and professional. I was confident in the quality and thoroughness of Dr. Helmus' exam. I have already recommended the practice to others. Many thanks to Helmus Optometry for the excellent care!

    ...
    Show More - Grace B.
  • For over twenty years I have seen Dr. Joann Helmus annually as my optometrist. The very high standard of service and technical knowledge of both doctor and staff has never wavered. Consistently modernizing their examination equipment in providing the most up-to-date exams and accurate prescriptions. Their selection of eyeglass frames is most complete range of style choices. The staff are very knowledgeable of insurance allowances, and discussed with me the many options available. Have many times and will continue recommending this outstanding optometric office to family and friends.

    ...
    Show More - Michael W.
  • Great optometrist. Fast and quality service always.

    - Logan K.
  • Extremely professional, kind, helpful, staff from top to bottom! Exam was thorough and well diagnosed. Best glasses fitting ever, and that is with progressives. Quick service. I feel staff is very knowledgeable and willing to go to any extent to spend time with you and be helpful. Just moved to Davis and this is a great find. Highly recommend!!

    ...
    Show More - Sally D.
  • My family have been coming here for years! Always exceptional service and spend the time to figure our insurance coverage details. Highly recommended!!!

    - Pete K.
  • Everyone was so nice and accommodating. Dr. Helmus was very sweet and took the time to really talk to me like a person and not just another dollar sign. They also had a nice selection of glasses in many different styles and price ranges. Most insurance policies are covered here as well. Definitely a plus! They'll always have my business! 

    ...
    Show More - Allyson C.

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you

Hours of Operation

Monday

Open By Appointment Only

Tuesday

Open By Appointment Only

Wednesday

Open By Appointment Only

Thursday

Open By Appointment Only

Friday

Open By Appointment Only

Saturday

Open By Appointment Only

Sunday

Closed

Monday
Open By Appointment Only
Tuesday
Open By Appointment Only
Wednesday
Open By Appointment Only
Thursday
Open By Appointment Only
Friday
Open By Appointment Only
Saturday
Open By Appointment Only
Sunday
Closed

Our Location