The romantic appeal coupled with light traffic and relaxing driving brings many drivers to the road at night. However, the benefits of operating vehicles after sunset can be offset by the possible hazards.
One of the main problems that make night driving dangerous is compromised vision. Glare from the oncoming headlights can blind a driver for a couple of seconds. That’s all it takes to veer off the road or hit another vehicle. Additionally, as we age, our night vision becomes worse.
What can you do to protect your eyes while driving at night?
1. Invest in Window Film
While it may seem counterproductive to darken your windows to see better at night, tinted glass does an excellent job protecting your eyes. Unexpected headlight glare is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a driver at night. You can reduce momentary blindness and distraction by applying the protection film.
While window tint doesn’t eliminate the glare, it softens the effect. It can help you feel more confident behind the wheel at night, especially when you are making complicated maneuvers.
It’s worth noting that not all window film products are created equal. Some may worsen your vision instead of protecting it. That’s why it’s important to consult a professional to determine the type of window film and the percentage of the tint.
2. Keep Your Windshield Clean
Dirty spots on your windshield catch the light and distribute it unevenly, thus causing you to misread situations on the road. If you have window film, it can’t provide sufficient protective properties unless the glass is clean.
While you may allow yourself to drive with a slightly dirty window during the day, use windshield wipers and washer fluid regularly during the night. Before getting into the vehicle, clean side-view mirrors as well. Consider wiping the rest of the windows before each trip to increase visibility.
3. Dim Dashboard Lights
If lights on your dashboard are too bright, every time you glance down to check the speed or adjust the radio, you may have a tough time focusing back on the road.
Make sure to dim dashboard lights during the night. Keep the controls visible but not too bright. Never turn the interior lights on while driving. They can interfere with your focus.
4. Check Your Vision Annually
Changes in your vision may go unnoticed for a long time. That’s why you have to get your eyesight checked annually, especially if you drive at night frequently.
By keeping your eyes in top shape, you can protect yourself on the road. With age, vision may worsen, making night driving difficult. Timely treatment and correction can prevent dangerous situations on the road.
Meanwhile, get your glasses checked. Scratched or damaged lenses can interfere with your driving and increase the effects of headlight glare.
5. Adjust Mirrors
Improperly adjusted mirrors increase glare. Meanwhile, they can reduce visibility, which is especially important at night.
According to AAA, you should adjust the interior rearview mirror so you can see the entire rear window. In case you don’t have remote mirror operation buttons, you may need assistance while adjusting side-view mirrors.
When you are sitting straight in the driver’s seat, you should be able to see the road in the side mirrors along with a small sliver of your vehicle. The handle of the driver (or passenger) door should appear in the lower left-hand corner.
6. Use the Night Setting
The majority of interior rear-view mirrors has a small lever, which you can flip. It changes the reflective surface angle of the mirror, thus putting it into the night mode. Even though you’ll still see the headlights, they will appear dimmer.
If you have a power mirror, it should come with a special button to activate the night mode. Check the owner’s manual to figure out how your mirror works. Don’t forget to switch it back into the day mode when the sun rises.
7. Consider Night Driving Glasses
Night driving glasses are usually non-prescription eyeglasses that have a yellow tinted lens. If you have prescription glasses, it’s possible to add tint as well.
These glasses have a special anti-reflective coating that deals with internal streetlight and headlight reflections that cause glare.
Night driving glasses can be an excellent solution for people, who suffer from night blindness – a condition that causes poor vision in a poorly illuminated environment.
8. Shift Your Eyes
When you see headlights heading in your direction, shift your eyes slightly. Never look straight into them. Neither window film nor night driving glasses can allow you to stare directly at the headlights without being temporarily blinded by the glare.
Don’t look away. Simply change the angle and focus your attention on road markings or the surrounding areas. Take the opportunity to check the mirrors.
9. Clean Your Headlights
Dirty headlights force you to rely on other light sources on the road, thus interfering with clear vision. If your headlights are still hazy after cleaning, they may need restoration. Pay special attention to maintaining your headlights in bad weather.
10. Take Breaks
Driving at night puts a serious strain on your eyes. Taking frequent breaks can help you protect your vision and stay safe on the road. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 100,000 accidents per year occur due to drowsy driving.
Even if you don’t feel sleepy, your eyes may be tired, thus not allowing you to stay sufficiently alert on the road.
Driving at night can be dangerous unless you take care of your vision. Headlight glare causes temporary blindness that leads to accidents. By taking advantage of the above tips, you can fight glare while keeping your eyesight in top shape. However, no matter how prepared you are for a night behind the wheel, if it’s possible, stick to driving during the day.
At Elite Window Tinting, we can help you choose the best window film for your night driving purposes. From 100% clear to darker shades, you can choose the tint percentage depending on your personal preferences. For more information, please give us a call today.