Though fewer cars are on the road at night than during the daytime, driving at night is still dangerous. In fact, the National Safety Council notes that drivers’ risk of being in fatal car crashes is three times greater at night than it is during the daytime.
Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can diminish at night. Though many drivers recognize that their own visibility is compromised at night, few may consider that others motorists’ nighttime visibility is similarly affected. Fortunately, there are a handful of ways that drivers can improve their visibility and make themselves more visible to fellow motorists when operating motor vehicles after the sun goes down.
Get enough sleep. A recent poll from the National Sleep Foundation found that 13 percent of drivers acknowledged falling asleep while driving at least once per month. The NSF advises drivers to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, to avoid driving if they have been awake for 24 hours or more and to pull over for rest every two hours.
Improve vehicle lighting. Compared to the standard incandescent lamps used by many of today’s automotive manufacturers, LED lights are brighter and more visible to oncoming motorists. LEDs also can brighten up interior lights, such as courtesy, dome, trunk and glove box.
Get routine vision checkups. Vision checkups are necessary for all drivers, but especially so for aging motorists. According to the American Optometric Association, the diminished vision that many drivers experience when driving at night increases with age, highlighting the importance of annual vision checkups. Drivers who are uncomfortable driving at night can employ several strategies to alleviate that discomfort. More information is available at www.philips.com/visionled.