One of the most common patient complaints presented to an eye doctor is difficulty seeing while driving at night.
According to the National Safety Council, vehicle death rates are three times higher at nighttime than during the day.
If you struggle to see while you are driving at night, there are things you can do to help see better:
Set the light inside your car to a minimum, dim dash lights if possible and avoid lights elsewhere in the car.
When a car is coming at you, avoid staring at the headlights. Look at the fog line or divert your eyes slightly.
Make sure your car lights are directed as they should be and are not dirty or fogged over. Make sure the windshield is clear as well.
Get your eyes examined regularly by an eye doctor and keep your eye prescription for glasses and contacts up-to-date.
Adjust your rearview mirror to “night” setting to dim the glare of headlights from cars behind you.
Keep an extra two car lengths away from the car ahead of you at night.
Start using your vehicle headlights one hour before dusk and one hour after dawn to increase visibility.
Switch to low beams when you’re behind someone so you don’t blind them.
Watch for headlight flashes when approaching hills or hairpin curves.
Don’t ignore eye fatigue. Address it immediately with frequent stops and brisk walks.
Discuss your individual eyesight needs with an optometrist.
Santoro is a doctor of optometry with the The Everett Clinic Vision Center.