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Avoid Glare While Driving At Night

By Essilor News

With the recent Daylight Saving Time change, you'll notice an "extra" hour of sleep and earlier sunsets. While catching more ZZZs is always welcomed, fewer hours of sunlight can make the drive home from work hazardous, since Daylight Saving Time means most evening commutes will now happen in the dark.

Clear sight is imperative for safe driving, since almost 90 percent of our reaction ability while driving relies on it. Unfortunately, the ability to see clearly decreases at night. Night driving affects many aspects of vision including depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision. One of the top issues associated with night driving is glare. Glare is a light source that doesn't help you see better, but instead interferes with your vision.

Nighttime glare occurs as a result of both bright and dim lights. Trying to see something in the presence of a light that's too bright can cause the eyes to squint and become teary. Conversely, vision can become impaired due to a reduction in the contrast of images brought on by dim lighting.
Fortunately, there are several ways to combat glare and cut down on vision impairment when driving at night:

  • Schedule an exam with your eye doctor - By receiving a comprehensive eye exam every year, you can make sure your eyesight is in top shape and also get your glasses checked for scratched or smudged lenses.
  • Invest in anti-glare glasses - If you wear corrective glasses, ask your eye doctor about Crizal lenses. These no-glare lenses will make your lenses more clear, allowing you to drive more comfortably at night.
  • Protect your eyes from glare - Exposing yourself to glare during the day can temporarily affect your vision at night. Wear polarized sunglasses during the day to avoid vision impairment when night driving.
  • Clean the exterior of your car - A proper scrubbing of all glass surfaces including the windshield, windows, and mirrors can cut down on nighttime glare. Streaks and smudges on your car's windshield and mirrors can reduce the contrast of objects on the road and make them appear invisible. And don't forget about your car's headlights. Any amount of dirt on headlights can reduce the light output and limit your ability to see and be seen.
  • Adjust your car's mirrors - Certain positioning of a car's mirrors can reduce glare and blind spots while also making it easier to identify vehicles on the side and rear. For proper mirror positioning, the America Automobile Association suggests the following - While sitting in the driver's seat, lean to the left and tilt your head until it rests against the window. From that position, adjust the driver's side mirror so you can just see the left rear corner of the vehicle.
  • Turn off your interior lights - Lights inside your car can seem extra bright and make it more difficult to see.
  • Flip your rearview mirror - By flipping the small lever at the bottom of your rearview mirror, you can switch the mirror to its night setting. Headlights will still appear in your mirror, but they will be much dimmer and less distracting.
  • Avoid looking directly at the headlights of oncoming traffic - When oncoming traffic approaches, look down and to the right. Use the white line on the right side of the road for tracking your lane instead of the left side. This will allow you to see other vehicles in your peripheral vision without being bothered by glare.

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