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Light Requirements

When behind the wheel, a driver’s eyesight is the most important tools you have. But by age 60, eyes need three times as much light to see as they did at age 20, so it’s much more difficult to see objects in the dark. If you have vision problems, driving at night can be particularly hazardous.

Research shows senior drivers need significantly more light to see than teen drivers. That’s because over the years, pupils get smaller and don’t widen (dilate) as much in dark conditions, making it harder to see. This diminished vision is a significant problem.

Your vision may test well in the eye doctor’s office but still be effectively reduced driving at night, where lighting is poor and more complex visual tasks are required. Ability to resist glare and see reflective road signs and markings also decreases with age, so senior drivers should take extra care when driving at night.

Click on a light bulb below to see how light requirements change over time.