Shorter days and longer nights. But what does that mean for driving? David Clulow Opticians invited Robin James, @manforhimself, to share his top tips for driving in the dark. With the clocks going back now is the perfect time to book yourself in for an eye test and look as stylish as Robin in Ray-Bans.
Road causality statistics* show that 40% of collisions occur in the hours of darkness. The most obvious danger of driving at night is decreased visibility. The distance we can see is shortened and our eyes take longer to adjust to different levels of light.
I’ve been driving for the past 17 years and have experienced how much more demanding it is to drive at night. Fatigue, strained vision, oncoming traffic and bad weather can all play havoc with our driving ability. That said, there are certain things that we can all do to make our driving experiences a whole lot easier.
1. Book Yourself In For An Eye Test
Our eyes undergo a lot of strain whilst driving at night. Even if you think you have perfect vision, you should still ensure that you have a regular (at least once every two years) eye test.
Eyes tests are painless and take only about 25 minutes. An optician will be able to check the health of your eyes as well as your ability to see.
From colour perception to distance reading, the optician will be able to advise on how your own eyesight could impact your driving.
You can book in for an eye test with David Clulow here.
2. Wear The Right Kind Of Glasses
You may have seen adverts and articles proclaiming that yellow tinted glasses will help you see better at night. They say that these glasses will help enhance contrast, to aid you in seeing objects in the dark. In reality, however, these glasses do little to help.
Your best option is to buy a pair of prescription glasses that have an anti-reflective coating. The coating keeps light from bouncing around the inside of your lenses and have also been shown to allow more light in.
Ask your local David Clulow Optician about adding an anti-reflective coating to your lenses.
3. Avoid Glare
As we grow older, our eyes become less able to react quickly to changes in light. Just like investing in a pair of anti-reflective lenses, there are things that we can do in our car to avoid glare.
Usually, glare is caused by high intensity light from oncoming headlights. Take a look at your rearview mirror. There should be a little handle below it. This flicks the mirror at an angle and into a ‘night setting’. It does this by dimming any light coming from behind you.
4. Clean and Adjust Your Windshield and Exterior Mirrors
Windshields and mirrors that appear clean during the day may reveal streaks that can cause glare at night.
A top tip is to clean the glass with a piece of newspaper to remove any residue. Try not to touch the inside surfaces of your windshield, side windows or mirrors with your hands as the the oil from your skin can smear.
You can also aim your exterior mirrors downward slightly. This enables you to see cars behind you by tipping your head slightly forward, but keeps the other car’s headlights out of your eyes.
5. Invest in extra training
If you’re uncomfortable driving at night or just want to increase your skill level, I’d really recommend some extra training.
The most basic level is Pass Plus** which is ideal for new drivers; and advanced training for more experienced motorists.
I have completed both training programmes. Not only did I learn new motoring skills, but I also managed to reduce my insurance premium as a result.