As we age, driving in the dark becomes more difficult due to changes in our eyes. I for one, struggle with this, and all the more so when I'm tried and driving long stretches of road with a steady parade of headlights coming towards me at night or driving into the sun. If you have macular degeneration or cataracts these types of vision related problems will definitely exasperate the risk of driving any time of the day or night. I can't wait for my cataract surgery that's coming up soon.
Our team of personal assistants at 5 Star Concierge often help as designated drivers for our clients when they either no longer drive or prefer to have someone with a younger set of eyes drive them on errands or to appointments due to visual challenges that make them feel less confident and safe behind the wheel.
AARP recently published an article by Tom Vanderbilt about staying safe while driving, especially in the dark. The following are AARP's six ways for seeing better in the dark, but for the full article click here.
AARP Photo by Kevin Cooley
How to See Better in the Dark
Driving as little as possible after dark is safety tip number one. But sometimes, especially when the days grow shorter, that simply isn’t an option. To maximize your vision:
Use your brights at night in almost all cases, except when there are oncoming cars. Drivers often don’t see as well at night as they think they do, and high beams give them the best chance of reacting fast enough to an unexpected hazard.
Don’t economize. When buying a new or used car, look for models with top-rated headlights (go to iihs.org/ratings to find a car’s safety ratings). When given a choice, opt for the best headlights available.
If your car is several years old, consider getting your headlights and casings replaced. A 2018 study by AAA found that in at least two popular sedan models, degraded headlights and yellowed headlight casings meant that on low beams, the headlights were emitting just 22 percent of the light that new ones would provide, making night driving more hazardous.
Keep your windshield and headlights cleaned, for obvious reasons.
Reset the illumination levels of your dashboard lights and any in-car screens to low. Bright light inside makes it harder to see outside.
Don’t skip the after-dinner coffee. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2017, 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers.
How can we best help you (or your loved one) maintain your quality of life and independence? We offer non-medical assistance with a two-hour minimum. Serving Lane County, Oregon.
Lee Erickson, Personal Assistant to Seniors