When you’re on the road at night, you’re at a natural disadvantage. Your eyes work best during the day, and high speeds, constantly changing lighting, and approaching headlights don’t help. Senior drivers who had lost vision range or sensitivity are especially at risk, but these problems affect everyone driving around Fond du Lac at night. There are, however, a few things you can do to improve your vision and stay safe at night.
Check Your Mirror Positioning
Many people don’t have their mirrors positioned properly. On top of making you have bigger blind spots, this can also reflect the headlights from cars behind you into your eyes.
The wrong way to do it is to adjust the mirrors while sitting in your normal driving seating position. The right way to do it is to lean to your left until your head is just away from your window and adjust the driver’s side mirror so you can barely see the edge of your car. Lean over your center console and do the same on the passenger side. When changing lanes, lean over for a better view instead of just turning your head.
Wear Anti-Reflective Glasses
If you wear glasses, make sure you have a good pair for driving at night. Most drivers already have a good pair of sunglasses for daytime driving. If you need to wear prescription glasses for nighttime driving, buy a pair with anti-reflective coating to prevent glares from other cars or streetlights.
Keep Your Eyes Moving
You should always keep your eyes moving while driving, but at night this isn’t just to look for hazards. When you keep your eyes centered where your headlights are brightest, your eyes adjust to that level of light and don’t see as well into the dark areas surrounding your car. Keep glancing to the side and behind you into areas without direct light so that your eyes stay used to looking into the dark.
Don’t Look Into Approaching Headlights
Your eyes are naturally attracted to oncoming light, but be sure to look away — especially if someone isn’t dropping their high beams. Getting overwhelmed by sudden light could put you at risk for the several seconds your eyes take to get reaccustomed to the lighting in surrounding areas. When other cars are approaching, look to the right and down to the road in front of you.
Focus on the Sides of Objects
When you’re looking at an object, you probably focus right in the middle of it without even thinking. This is because you’re subconsciously trying to get the best view. However, at night, it’s hard to pick up small details, and everything may blend together.
To combat this, focus on the edges of objects you’re looking at. The contrast between an object and the surrounding air or a different object behind it is much easier for your eyes to detect, and you will notice objects more easily this way.
Don’t Drive Past Your Headlights
If you’re on a dark road, it’s important to stay within range of your headlights. Your lights only see so far ahead, and if you’re driving too fast, that distance may not be a safe stopping distance. To test this, make sure you can stop between the time a street sign first appears in your lights and the time you reach it. If you can’t, slow down.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to see more clearly at night and avoid hazards like deer and fallen trees. Drive safely!