Driving safely at night

If bright headlights and glare bother you when you drive at night, you’re not alone. This can become a bigger concern while driving at night when low lighting can result in poor vision. One of the biggest hindrances when driving at night can be reflections and glare from the likes of streetlights, headlights and traffic lights.  It is known that 85% of people experience glare while driving which can make it very difficult to see clearly especially in poor weather conditions.

Not only is this inconvenient and distracting, but it can result in a dangerous experience for both yourself and other drivers. It might even leave your confidence wavering. Statistics show that 40% of road collisions happen at night even though 31% of people avoid driving at night. This is likely because of reduced vision, which can also result in difficulty judging speed and distance of other cars.

One of the most common adult complaints about vision that I receive during eye tests is difficulty with night time driving.  This complaint can include blur after the sun sets, glare from headlights, ‘night-blindness’, difficulty remaining in the lane of traffic, and difficulty reading road signs at night.

Fortunately, there is a range of lenses for glasses that can reduce glare to make sure you feel safe and confident every time you get in the car. With the right lens in your glasses, you can greatly reduce the level of glare from traffic headlights, traffic lights and street lamps when driving at night.

A spectacle lens called ‘Crizal Drive’ manufactured by Essilor – one of the world’s leading lens manufacturers – can be fitted into your glasses.  These lenses offer greater clarity of vision during night driving, and reduce glare by approximately 90% when compared with a lens that has no anti-reflective coating, resulting in a much clearer image.

Having to travel at night myself, I have tried the lenses and am very impressed by the sharpness of vision they offer and the greater visual comfort achieved.  I also noticed an improvement in my ability to see when entering a street-lit area.  Yellow coloured street lights can add to the ‘glare affect’ causing visual discomfort, however with ‘Crizal Drive’ lenses this virtually eliminated all the discomforting glare, giving me crisper sharper vision at night.

The ‘Crizal Drive’ lens can also be combined with a ‘Transitions XTRActive’ lens, which activates a tint on the lens to protect the eyes from the sun’s glare for example at sunset. It is also available in a varifocal design enabling wearers to naturally and easily shift their focus between the road, and the dashboard.

These lens solution can make all the difference whether it’s to get your confidence back when driving in the dark or simply improve your safety and the safety of others on the roads this winter. Come and talk to us at Brady Opticians and we’ll advise you on the best lenses this winter.

To book an appointment call us on 074 97 21727 or click here.

Written by Dr Brendan McCreesh, principal optician
Ph.D BSc MCOptom