driving at night

Night-time driving glasses: 9 signs you might need them

Did you know that more and more drivers find it uncomfortable to be on the road at night? Night-time driving can become a source of stress and risk if you find you can’t rely on your vision at night. Indeed, it can dramatically slow down your reactions behind the wheel. However, if you find yourself troubled by night-time driving, there may be a simple solution for you, namely night-time driving glasses. Here are the tell-tale signs you need them:

Contrasting lights cause vision impairment

Your eyes can react sensitively to the presence of overly bright lights, as it can be the case with car headlights. This can smear your vision. In addition, periods with no other vehicle on the road are bathed in low light levels, which can reduce contrast and make it hard to perceive items and obstacles on the road. The combined effects of high light and low light levels can make driving an impossible challenge. However, you can find relief by using anti-glare lens coating on your glasses, which will reduce light reflection by up to 90% and enhance your vision at night.

Light sensitivity

Similar to vision issues caused by contrasting lights, light sensitivity can make it hard to distinguish obstacles at night. The feeling that car headlights are too bright and can blind you temporarily is a common sensation for people who struggle with light sensitivity. It is only a natural reaction to the presence of bright lights that force your pupil to constrict. However, when your eyes can’t adapt to the changing light environment quickly enough, you can be left with a severe handicap during night-time driving. As a driver, you can improve your comfort behind the wheel with reflection-reducing lenses. Using coating on the lens can avoid temporary blindness when you look into the coming bright lights of a car or streetlights. It’s important to discuss the issue with your optician rather than trying to solve it yourself with a pair of tinted glasses, which will hinder your vision and fail to protect your eyes.

Glare affects night driving

During night-time, the lights around you can seem to shine stronger and brighter than during daytime. Signs on the road can affect your vision and cause a glare effect. When too much light enters your eye, it can interfere with your ability to manage it. As a result, all you can see is a bright glare until the light has moved off your vision.

Consequently, when you’re driving on a fast road, glare can put you and those around you at risk. It can increase your stopping distance. When you’re driving at 70mph, you can’t afford to waste time before hitting the brakes. For glasses-wearing, uncoated lenses can aggravate the problem by creating more reflections. Lens coating can prevent glare and keep you safe on the road at night.

Parasite effects on the lenses

Wearing glasses at night can lead to the apparition of uncomfortable effects where the reflection of streetlights and other lights merge into one single source of glare onto the lens. It can affect your vision on the road and distract you from the obstacles in front of you. You can find, however, specialist driving glasses, such as Hoya En-Route lenses that can remove up to 90% of reflection and virtually cancel the parasite effects.

Existing eye conditions affect visual clarity

It’s not uncommon for older drivers to avoid night-time driving because they experienced eye conditions such as cataracts that affect their vision. Cataracts, especially, can disrupt night-time vision dramatically, making it unsafe to drive if it’s left untreated. Regular eye tests cannot prevent cataracts from developing, but they can spot it early and proceed to surgical removal, when suitable. Your optician can make sure your vision meets the required standards for driving.

Distance perception

In low light conditions, it can be difficult for some drivers to estimate distances on the road. Typically, struggling with distance at night can be a sign that you need to get your eyes checked. Indeed, while there might be an expected decrease in your ability to discern colours or see in full details due to the lack of light, regular eye tests can also spot eye conditions that might accentuate the issue. Keeping your glasses and eye prescription up to date is a must as a driver.

Ghost surroundings

More often than not, night-time driving can transform our perception of the surroundings, making it challenging for your eyes to adjust. The bright streetlights and signs for city-dwellers can lead to reflections, glare, and vision impairments. Similarly, countryside drivers can feel equally blinded when they meet another vehicle in the middle of a dark night. As a result, the eyes perceive a ghost image of the bright light long after it’s gone. An anti-reflection coating can help to address the problem.

Long-distance driving

It’s no secret that you should schedule regular breaks when you’re driving long distances. Long-distance driving at night makes you a lot more vulnerable due to the constant strain on your vision. You need to take a break as soon as you feel tired, as eye fatigue can transform your vision on the road. You can wear driving lenses optimised for additional support to reduce eye strain, such as Essilor Eyezen lenses, or varifocals designed specifically for driving such as the Varilux Road Pilot which is designed to best match drivers’ visual needs. It incorporates a wider distance and intermediate vision zone than a regular varifocal lens making it much easier to check critical information such as speedometer, audio system, navigation system and provides a wider peripheral vision zone.

However, if you know you’re going to be driving for several hours. However, anti-eye-strain glasses are no effective solution against tiredness. Staying safe on the road at night starts with listening to your body.

Car mirror reflections

Your car mirror can catch the reflections of the headlights of the vehicles behind you at night. It can be disrupting for the drivers, especially if your windows and mirrors are dirty. Remember that the night-time position of your mirror exists for a reason: it can make driving at night more comfortable. If you wear glasses, make sure to keep the lenses clear before a long drive to prevent reflections and flare. The same principle applies to your windows, as clean windows and windshield can reduce the risk of reflections.

In conclusion, we hope our list of 9 signs you might need night-time adjustments with your glasses and other eye checks can help you to become a confident night-time driver again. For further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your optician.


About the Author

Darren Williams is the director and owner with over 30 years’ experience as an ophthalmic technician at https://www.onlineopticiansuk.com/ which provides affordable, high-quality glasses and sunglasses for men and women.


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