Ask a group of friends, family members or coworkers about their night vision and comfort level of driving at night. The answers may surprise you.
According to the National Safety Council, 90 percent of a driver’s reaction depends upon vision. And, since vision is restricted at night by reduced depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision, driving during this time presents a variety of challenges for those on the road. It’s no wonder that 40% of people, by the age of 40 feel uneasy driving at night!
These 4 tips can help you feel more confident while driving at night.
1. Car care
Ensure headlights are in working order and pointed at the correct height. Low light beams only provide enough 160-250 feet of illumination in front of a car. High beams cover 350-500 feet. According to an article by Popular Mechanics, older automobiles may have plastic lens covers which could have yellowed or faded over the years. In that case, remove the haze by using a cleaning kit.
Also ensure your windshield and mirrors are clear both inside and out as dirt or grime can obstruct your view.
2. Driver Do’s and Don’ts
The typical driver makes 20 decisions per mile, with less than half a second to act to avoid collision. When following other vehicles, leave more distance between your car and the next so you have more time to break suddenly.
Aside from other vehicles, animals on the road can compromise safety. As you spot them, slow down. Don’t assume they will jump out of the way.
An article via Popular Mechanics also addresses this issue: “You can often see the reflections of your headlights in an animal’s eyes long before you can see the animal itself. Pairs of tiny bright spots in the distance are a clear warning that an animal is in front of you down the road.”
Also, when driving in foggy and low light conditions, drive with your caution lights on.
Age-related eye health issues can develop and progress gradually so schedule regular eye exams. Wear glasses at night for driving if instructed by an optometrist.
Research proves that optimal amounts of the nutrients dietary zeaxanthin and lutein preserve and enhance vision performance related to night driving.