As you age, your night vision tends to weaken. So, if you’re an older driver, here’s what you can do to keep yourself and loved ones safe on the road at night.
Visit an Eye Care Professional Regularly
Keep up with regular eye appointments, recommended at least once every two years if you’re under the age of 60, and once a year if you are older than 60. Be sure to tell your eye doctor of any issues you may be having while driving at night so he or she can perform specialized testing. This may include an evaluation of anything from your visual field to contrast sensitivity.
If you are diabetic, get an exam at least once a year, closely following your doctor’s recommendations on diet, insulin, blood sugar control and self care. It’s important to reduce your risk of diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to severe vision loss if you don’t catch it early.
- Seek immediate vision care when you think you have symptoms of sight-threatening eye diseases. But you can’t rely on symptoms alone, as many eye problems don’t manifest themselves until late in the disease process. Quick action is important.
- Ask your eye care professional to prescribe you night driving glasses that will help you see better between sunset and sunrise. These glasses have anti-reflective coatings that reduce glare. If you opt for lenses with wavefront diagnostic technology, you can experience decreased halos, star bursts and glare.
- Ask your eye surgeon if you are a good candidate for cataract surgery, which will replace your clouded natural lenses with artificial lenses. The result? You will experience better contrast sensitivity.
- Be cautious when approaching an intersection, as this is where 40 percent of deadly crashes involving older motorists happen. Studies show that the top reason for these crashes is a failure to yield, particularly when attempting a left turn.
- Plan your trips before leaving home, especially if you will be driving at night.
- Try to avoid dark, unlit roadways, and stick to streets you are familiar with.
- Plan for extra time if driving conditions are poor. Don’t drive when stressed, tired or distracted.
- Drive defensively at all times, leaving two car lengths between you and the car in front of you — even more in bad weather.
- Keep your windows clear.
- Choose a vehicle with safety features such as large mirrors, power steering, power brakes and automatic transmission.
- Make sure your car is always in good repair.
- Take a driving class to renew your skills every few years. You may even get a discount with your insurance company for doing so.
Contact Simon Eye Associates
The best way to maintain good night driving vision is to stay on top of your regular appointments and voice any concerns you may have with your eye doctor. Contact Simon Eye today for your appointment at 302-239-1933.