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How to Lighten the Stress of Night Driving

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Driving at night can challenge even the strongest of pupils. Whether you wear glasses or contacts or not, most drivers will need a moment or more to adjust when the sun goes down.

According to the National Safety Council, drivers’ peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to distinguish colors can be hindered in the dark, and all drivers can be blinded temporarily by an oncoming car’s headlights.

“Even with high-beam headlights on, visibility is limited to about 500 feet (250 feet for normal headlights) creating less time to react to something in the road, especially when driving at higher speeds,” reports the National Safety Council.

And, as age increases, night vision decreases according to the Council who reports “a 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old.”

To stay safe while driving at night, the National Safety Council advises drivers to keep their headlights free from dirt and debris and windshields streak-free, and the experts at Popular Mechanics advise drivers to clean their exterior mirrors, make sure their headlights are positioned properly so they won’t blind oncoming traffic, and to remember to “switch your inside rear-view mirror to the Night or Auto Dim setting.”

Dimming the lights on your dashboard is also a good idea, according to the Popular Mechanics’ experts, because the light and reflections caused by your instrument panel can interfere with forward vision.

If a doctor has prescribed you glasses, invest in an anti-reflective pair, according to the experts at Popular Mechanics who deem the yellow-tinted sunglasses advertised to improve vision at night as a waste of money and lie since they “actually cut down on the amount of light you can see.”

Try not to set your vision on oncoming lights, and it’s always a good driving habit to decrease speed when driving in the dark, according to the National Safety Council.

News Source: National Safety Council, Popular Mechanics