6 Tips for Safer Night Driving
Whether you love it or go out of your way to avoid it, nighttime driving requires far more concentration than the miles we clock during the day. Did you know that the risk of a fatal car crash is three times greater after the sun sets? Many factors contribute to this statistic, but the main danger is low visibility and increased difficulty in judging both speed and distance.
Let’s face it: We’re only human. Our bodies are programmed to be fatigued when it’s dark, and low light conditions have a significant impact on our vision. Driving at night means that our eyes must adjust to the oncoming illumination of headlights, street lights and traffic signals. This sudden glare makes things like road signs, safety markings or objects in our path much more difficult to distinguish. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to increase our chances of getting to our nighttime destinations safely.
1. Visit Your General Practitioner and Optometrist
Did you know that our eyesight begins to decline as we age, and our ability to see well in low light conditions gradually starts to decrease in our 30s? Identifying problems like astigmatism, glaucoma, cataracts or other degenerative eye conditions plays an important role in keeping the roads safe at night. Other conditions like diabetes or prescription drug side effects are factors to look out for as well.
2. Stay Alert and Awake
Doctors often recommend that you keep your eyes moving at night to reduce the effects of eye fatigue. Try to scan all around your field of vision instead of focusing on one area. Frequently checking your mirrors will also keep you alert. A driver that’s looking straight ahead for long periods of time may be less focused and experience eye strain.
3. Pay Attention to Your Lights
The lights on our vehicles play an important role in keeping us safe. The Institute of Advanced Motorists advises turning your headlights on before sunset and keeping them on for an hour after sunrise. Clean headlights, windows and mirrors also increase driver visibility.
Both the bright high beams of a passing vehicle and our own heavily lit interior lights limit visibility. Always avoid looking into oncoming lights, and remember that dimming interior lights will increase the visibility of objects outside your car.
4. Use Lenses With Anti-Reflective Coatings to Help Filter Out High Glare
Recent advancements in optic technology have made a huge difference in nighttime driving. Modern night driving glasses are specifically designed to provide an increased degree of visual definition and a higher level of optic contrast.
The difference? Innovative yellow night driving lenses that brighten surroundings, helping to enhance contrast and definition. In addition, lenses with anti-reflective coatings help to cut down on glare. Drivers using these lenses can worry less about the effects of annoying glare from oncoming headlights, and have an overall improved ability to detect and distinguish objects. Eagle Eyes’ optical grade Night-Lite® lenses do all this plus absorb UV and scattered blue light rays. These yellow lens filters make everything brighter, sharper and more defined. Explore Eagle Eyes night driving glasses, and start driving safer today.
5. Increase Your Distance – and Never Tailgate
Tailgating crashes are not uncommon in the U.S., and occur when a driver follows another vehicle too closely. Reaction time is often limited, and a crash can easily occur when the vehicle ahead comes to a sudden stop.
For added safety, experts recommend that drivers double the standard three-second rule to six seconds when driving at night. We already face enough hazards when we drive at night – tired drivers, daredevil wildlife and blinding high beams – so play it safe, and allow yourself an ideal amount of space.
6. Take a Driving Course (Again)
Driving is a skill that can and should be continually improved. Many courses out there are designed for drivers over the age of 50. Senior drivers who take a driving refresher course may even qualify for discounted auto insurance. The main goal is to identify and address any underlying physiological symptoms that may pose a danger to the roads.
These tips aren’t the only steps to keep you safe on your next nighttime road trip, but we hope you’ll keep them in mind the next time you head out after dark.
A practical first step to take is to filter out that hazardous nighttime glare. Eagle Eyes night driving glasses not only protect your vision, but they could also protect your life and the lives of your passengers.