Tips for driving safely as the clocks go back
As the clocks go back this month, many of us find ourselves needing to drive when it’s dark outside and we often find this more stressful than driving in daylight. Accident statistics do show that accidents are more frequent at night and especially at the end of the day when we are more tired. So how can you make sure that its’ as safe as possible for you to drive at night?
The first step is to have a regular eye exam so that you know you are wearing the right prescription glasses or contact lenses if you need them. Some drivers find wearing glasses with an AR (anti-reflective coating) that can make us feel more comfortable with night driving. Your optometrist will be able to give you individual advice about whether this could help you. The right lenses, that may have different prescriptions for your left and right eyes, can improve your 3D spatial vision, which is especially important for overtaking manoeuvres or for parking your car.
There are lots of yellow tinted glasses advertised on the internet as ‘night driving glasses’, however these cut down the total amount of light reaching your eyes so would not make it safer to drive in the dark and are not recommended.
The second step is to make sure your car headlights lights are clean, especially if you drive on country roads that don’t have modern street lighting. If you find the reflections from oncoming vehicles distracting, check that your windscreen is thoroughly clean both on the inside and outside of the car. Dirt or condensation on a windscreen will scatter light rays from oncoming headlights, making halos and reflections which can be very distracting.
Halos and reflections can also happen if the lenses on your glasses aren’t thoroughly clean, so it’s advisable to clean them before driving at night. Use a suitable cleansing spray and dry your glasses with a clean, microfibre cloth. Be careful about which cleaning spray you use if you have an anti-reflective coating on your glasses – always ask your optometrist to recommend one if you are not sure which one to use.
Just as you would if you were driving in a heavy rain shower or foggy conditions that affects your vision of the road, slow down if necessary and minimise night time journeys if possible.
Your friendly Monnow Eyecare optometrist will be happy to advice you about night time driving as part of your next eye test. If you haven’t had a test for a while, it’s easy to make an appointment by popping into the practice on Cinderhill Street, telephoning us on 01600 715 299 or you can book online here.