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Driving at Night

One of the biggest issues when driving at night is reduced visibility. Your view is limited to the distance illuminated by your vehicle’s headlights, and you do not have the advantage of color and contrast that you have during the daytime.

 

Low light. Being able to see well during the daytime does not necessarily mean that you will see well while driving at night.

  • After driving four or five hours on a sunny day, it may take an hour or more for your eyes to adjust to low light at dusk or night.
  • Some people may not adapt well to low light and should avoid driving at night.
  • Driving at night also reduces your ability to see to the sides of your vehicle.
  • Regardless of how effective your headlights are, they do not adequately light off-road areas.

Glare and recovery time. While driving at night, all drivers are affected temporarily by the glare of headlights and brightly lit signs or buildings.

  • Most people’s eyes recover from such glare within three to five seconds.
  • Recovery times of seven seconds or longer are not uncommon.
  • Typically, the time to recover from glare while driving at night increases with age.
  • People with cataracts will find their ability when dirving at night is severely impaired.
 
 

Click on each of the tips to find out how to combat glare at night.

Drivers middle-aged and older are more sensitive to glare than younger drivers because their eyes take longer to adjust to changing light levels.

Click on each of the tips above to find out how to combat glare at night.


Adjust Both Outside Mirrors

Properly aligned mirrors not only reduce blind spots, they also reduce glare from vehicles behind you.

While sitting in the driver's seat, lean to the left and tilt your head until it rests against the window. From that position, adjust the driver's side mirror so you can just see the left rear corner of the vehicle.


Avert Your Eyes

When oncoming vehicles shine light directly into your eyes, turn your gaze to the white line on the right side of the road, or to where the pavement meets the shoulder, until the vehicle goes by.


Use the Rearview Mirror's "Night" Setting

All cars have day/night interior mirrors to reduce glare from cars directly behind you. You can usually change the mirror to its "night" setting by flipping the small lever at the bottom of the mirror.


Proactively Use Your Headlights

Headlights should be on at least one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. Lights should be turned on a cloudy or rainy day. Make sure that all lights are functioning properly.