See the light with night driving glasses
Driving in the dark can be incredibly challenging, especially on an unfamiliar road, in poor weather conditions or if sensitive to bright lights. The glare of streetlights and headlights, coupled with snow or fog, makes it difficult to see the road clearly, increasing the risk of an accident. Those with certain medical conditions or older drivers may find it particularly difficult to see properly at night and need to take action to improve their vision.
When driving at night, particularly during autumn and winter, motorists should take extra care and consider how they can improve visibility and ensure they get to their destination safely. There are steps that can be taken to boost vision clarity when driving at night or in snow or fog, from simply cleaning the lights and windscreen to wearing special yellow lens glasses to alter the light rays that hit the eye.
How to cope with driving at night
There are many ways motorists can stay safe in the dark and the first step is to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy. All windows, lights and mirrors should be given a thorough clean so visibility is not impaired by dirt, smears, snow or ice. Air conditioning and heating in the car must also be kept in good working order so steamed-up windows are quickly cleared when the car is started. Headlights should be set at the right angle so as not to dazzle oncoming traffic, especially when full-beam is being used when driving at night. Fog lights and hazard lights are also vital so know how to operate them and when they should, and should not, be used.
Having prepared the vehicle for driving at night, motorists can also consider the use of aids such as night driving glasses to help them see better in the dark and fog. These yellow lens glasses reduce the glare from snow and the lights of oncoming vehicles, so drivers do not get dazzled when driving at night by the blue light bouncing and scattering off objects and snowfall. They are blue blocking, which means the light rays in the blue part of the spectrum do not get through to the eye, but the rest of the spectrum is not altered so overall vision is not impaired. Yellow lenses are superior to other tints, due to their high definition ability to view clarity of detail, hence they are ideal for one colour situations where you need high definition such as a whiteout in fog or snow and blackouts such as night driving. Scientists are unsure how this works but it does.
Yellow lens glasses improve contrast, reduce glare and preserve sharpness, making them great when driving at night or in other conditions when visibility is reduced and glare increased, such as when it is foggy or snowing. By filtering out the blue light, yellow lens glasses can reduce fatigue and strain to the eyes, making driving at night a more pleasant, and safe, experience. They also increase colour contrast and improve depth perception, further aiding vision for driving at night.
As with windscreens, night driving glasses should be cleaned before each use and kept free from smudges and dirt to ensure clear vision. Yellow lens night driving glasses also have an anti-reflection coating, which further reduces the glare and can be tailor-made to an individual prescription for short or long sight.
When wearing night driving glasses it is still vital to take other steps to stay safe. Take time to adjust to the dark before setting off and never look directly at the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. Changing between bright and dark conditions can add further complications so, if you can, keep the environment constant. It is not possible to control street lighting or where oncoming vehicles will be met, but do try to avoid using a bright screen when driving at night, such as a satnav device or radio.
Other benefits of blue blocking yellow lens glasses
Yellow lens glasses also have other health benefits. Studies have shown that blue blocking lenses alter the circadian rhythm – the 24-hour cycle human body clock that determines when people should eat and sleep. Adjusting this can aid those with sleep disorders, reduce the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and help sufferers of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The yellow lens glasses block the blue rays that cause a delay in the start of the flow of melatonin – the sleep hormone. By doing this, they can aid sleep and prevent SAD and depression. Blue blocking glasses can also help those with macular degeneration by reducing painful glare, indoors and outside.