In the winter months, driving is more hazardous. According to the National Safety Council, traffic deaths triple at night.
Darkness affects peripheral (side) vision, depth perception, color recognition, and more. A driver's age and energy level can also be factors. The older the driver, the more light is required to see well. If you're tired, reactions are slowed.
Because a driver's response depends on vision and vision is greatly reduced in the dark, vision-related problems are serious issues. According to some estimates, one in ten drivers needs night vision glasses.
Eye conditions can impair the ability to function well behind the wheel. For instance, one of the early symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa is impaired vision in reduced light. You may not be aware that you have the condition until you begin to notice increased difficulty with driving at night.
Here are a few pointers to keep you safe driving at night:
- Wear the right glasses for the driving conditions and check with your InFocus doctor to see if you need special glasses for night driving. (The eye exam for a drivers license is only a screening. It will not detect developing eye issues.)
- Keep headlights clean and use them, even at dawn and dusk. Clean your windshield, too, especially before driving into the sun.
- To combat fatigue, keep something to nibble on in the car (gum, sunflower seeds, etc.). It is harder to fall asleep with something in your mouth.
- Reduce your driving speed at night.
InFocus Eye Care wants you to stay safe this winter. If you have questions or would like to schedule an exam, contact us at 541-318-8388.