(BPT) - Are you having trouble driving at night? According to the National Safety Council, your depth perception and peripheral vision can be compromised when driving in the dark. Even with high beams, visibility is limited to 500 feet ahead of you, giving you less time to react if you see something on the road.
While it's more difficult for anyone to drive at night, it can be even more dangerous if you're older. As you age, your night vision worsens, meaning you'll need to take extra precautions to drive safely at night. If you have trouble driving at night, check out these five tips to make nighttime drives safer.
1. Clean your car's windshield, windows and mirrors
To drive safely at night, you'll want to do whatever you can to reduce glare. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, glare can make it harder to gauge the distance of an object on the road. The easiest way to reduce glare is to clean glass and other reflective surfaces like your car's windshield, windows and mirrors.
When light hits dirty or streaked glass, the light is scattered, creating glare. Also, dirty windows can reduce visibility, making it difficult to see objects and people that may be on the road. When cleaning, make sure to use a glass cleaner, microfiber cloth and a squeegee, and don't forget to clean the inside of the windows and windshields.
2. Double-check your headlights
Get into the habit of regularly checking your turn signals, brake lights, low beams, high beams and daytime running lights. Properly working lights will illuminate the road in front of you and keep your car visible to other drivers.
Don't forget to clean your headlights. Over time, your headlights can become clouded, dull and scratched. To ensure your lights shine as bright as possible, purchase a headlight polish kit to remove headlight haze.
3. Don't look at headlights in oncoming traffic
According to State Farm, oncoming glare can affect drivers from as far as 3,000 feet away. If you see bright lights approaching, look down and to the right and follow the white traffic line on the right side of your vehicle.
Also, if you're using your high beams, make sure to switch to low beams when you see a car approaching, so you don't blind oncoming traffic.
4. Get glasses with non-glare lenses
Even when taking precautions against glare, you can't eliminate the risk completely. To help you when glare can't be avoided, consider buying a pair of non-glare glasses or lenses for nighttime driving.
Non-glare lenses typically have an anti-reflective coating to reduce incoming glare, increasing the amount of light to your eyes and making it easier to see. This coating also makes it easier to clean your lenses, improving your vision day and night.
5. Schedule an eye exam
If you've tried the above four tips and still have trouble with reduced night vision and driving after dark, it may be time to schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor. A great way to save on your eye exam is with a vision insurance plan, such as a VSP Individual Vision Plan.
VSP has the largest independent doctor network, so you're sure to find a provider close by. Don't worry about waiting for an enrollment or waiting period. You can purchase VSP vision insurance at any time. Best of all, you can save on additional glasses or sunglasses, including lens enhancements, from a VSP network doctor within 12 months of your last exam.
To learn more about vision insurance plans and find the best vision plan for you, visit VSPDirect.com.
Driving at night can be nerve-wracking at the best of times. Using these five tips, you can improve your nighttime visibility and help keep yourself and other drivers safe.