The human eyes aren’t necessarily adapted for night vision. It also doesn’t help that the days get shorter in the winter, with the sun setting at 5 pm. This can make driving at night more difficult.
More fatal accidents happen at night compared to the ones that occur during the day. Thankfully, by adopting the right habits, it’s possible to improve night vision while driving. To drive efficiently at night, the driver must pay attention to the vehicle and also adjust to better driving strategies.
Here are some useful tips on how to improve night vision while driving:
1. Clean your mirrors & external lights
Cleaning your mirrors and external lights is one of the best ways to improve night vision while driving. Driving at night means your vision is limited compared to driving during the day. One way to see better is by cleaning your mirrors and external lights frequently. Car mirrors help the driver observe their blind spots while the headlights light up the road ahead.
With dirty mirrors, the already limited vision becomes distorted, making it more difficult to see. Dirty headlights reflect a diffused view of other cars and objects on the road. Clean taillights help other drivers note your car in traffic. Cleaning your lights and mirrors helps you navigate safely while driving at night. You should also remove the plastic film on your lights if your car is new.
2. Keep your headlights on as much as possible
Many nighttime car accidents happen because of collisions. Beyond helping you see the road, headlights also help other drivers see you clearly. While they do nothing significant for your vision in late evenings, it’s best to keep them on as soon as the sun goes down.
Helping other drivers see you even when it’s not very dark helps reduce the risk of collision. Always make sure your headlights are in good condition and maintained on a regular basis.
3. Dim dashboard lights
Lights from your dashboard and console panel have the potential to distract your attention from the road. If your car has the option, adjust the light settings to a level dim enough to see your speed limit.
You should also set your GPS navigation to night mode to manage lighting in your car. This also applies to other internal lights. You should keep them off as much as possible, unless absolutely necessary.
4. Wear the right glasses if you have an underlying condition
Driving at night can be tricky for people with underlying eye conditions. It doesn’t help that there’s a fad about how yellow tinted-glasses aid night vision. There’s no evidence to back up the claims about these glasses.
Instead, stick to prescription glasses with an anti-reflective coating. You should also keep tabs on your prescription by scheduling frequent eye checkups.
5. Switch headlights to fog lighting
Compared to regular headlights, fog lighting helps the driver see the road clearly rather than simply lighting up the view. They’re structured in such a way that they don’t point into the void, blinding other drivers.
Fog lights aim low to the road, helping you see bumps, rocks, and any other obstacle a driver would miss with regular lighting.
6. Avoid staring at other driver’s headlights
One of the most challenging parts of night driving is navigating flashing lights. As much as possible, try not to stare into other motorists’ headlights. Incoming lights can distract your attention and cause you to lose focus.
Even when you’re trying to figure out if a car’s headlights or taillights are on, be strategic about this. If it’s a driver behind you with full lights on, you can alert the driver by moving your rearview mirror to reflect the light back to them.
7. Adjust side mirrors for blind spots
Frequently checking your mirrors while on the move helps you stay alert. You should look out for blind spots not directly within the view of your external lights. This helps you navigate overtaking and other oncoming vehicles at night.
8. Aim headlights properly and use blinkers correctly
Some cars come with uneven facing headlights. Aiming your headlights properly prevents distraction for yourself and other drivers as well. Uneven lights could reflect dimly even when facing the ground. When aiming your lights, try to get them aligned so they’re not blinding other drivers or pointing too low to the road.
Tip: Consider seeking professional help from any auto repair or auto dealer near you if you’re having difficulty with setting your headlamps.
9. Look out for the pavement markings
Watching pavement markings is the oldest trick for efficient night driving. Pavement markings mean different things across various countries. For narrower roads, the hack is to look out for the white lines on both sides and in the middle of the road. This will help you maintain your lane even in the dark.
10. Maintain a considerate speed rate during dark hours
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t drive too fast at night. Since your vision is limited, keeping a moderate speed limit helps you navigate obstacles carefully. You should also keep a significant gap between your vehicle and other drivers. This helps you prevent collisions in case you have to make an abrupt stop.