How to Stay Safe When You Drive at Night


The clocks have gone back, winter is on its way and the nights are drawing in. At this time of year, you’re more likely to be driving in the twilight or dark. For some this makes driving difficult, possibly even dangerous. If you struggle to drive in the dark, you’re not alone though. In fact, 17 million drivers in the UK find it hard to see when they drive at night*.


According to a 2017 survey by ROSPA, 40% of all collisions happen when it’s dark*. One reason for this is that our eyes are just not good at seeing at night. When it’s dark our depth perception, peripheral vision and ability to distinguish colour are all diminished. And these changes are even more marked at twilight when our eyes have to constantly adapt to the growing darkness.  

Many people are also dazzled by the glare from headlights, brake lights and reflective surfaces. As we grow older, our eyes become less able to react quickly to changes in light. Between the ages of 15 and 65, the time it takes to recover from glare increases from 1 to 9 seconds.  These few seconds can mean the difference between staying safe and disaster.

The dazzle from glare can be even worse if you wear prescription glasses, especially if your prescription is strong. This is because lenses reflect light so less light reaches your eyes, making it more difficult for you to see clearly.  However, there is a simple solution: anti-reflection (AR) coatings on your lenses.


The difference AR treatments make

A high-quality, multi-layer, AR coating, helps eliminate reflections, allowing more light to reach your eyes. This makes it easier to see and will improve your experience of night driving.    

At Optimum Vision Clinic we offer a range of Essilor lens coatings including Crizal Drive anti-reflective coating. These coatings give you:

  • Up to 90% less reflections at night, and so a decrease in glare
  • Optimum clarity of vision, during the day and at night
  • An improved field of vision if you wear varifocals
  • Complete protection against scratches, smudges, dust, water, harmful UV and blue-violet light

An added benefit of AR is that your lenses will look almost invisible. This can enhance your appearance by drawing more attention to your eyes and helping you make better eye contact with others. It can also help if you spend a long time in front of a computer as the coatings minimise the light the computer screen emits.  



Our advice for safer night driving

If you struggle to drive at night, pop in and see us. We can advise you on the best anti-reflection treatments for your needs.

In the meantime, you can stay safe when you drive at night by following our top tips

  1. Visit your optician for regular check-ups. They’ll be able to pick up any problems that may affect your night vision.
  2. Only wear distance glasses or contact lenses that are up-to-date.
  3. Never wear tinted lenses that do not comply to British standards when you drive at night.
  4. If you can, dim your dashboard lights to reduce reflections inside your car.
  5. Keep your windscreen clean inside and out to avoid increased glare and condensation.
  6. Don’t dazzle! Dip your lights when another car is coming towards you. And make sure your headlights are working properly.
  7. Help drivers see you in twilight by turning your headlights on before sunset and keeping them on for an hour after sunrise.
  8. Watch out for pedestrians, especially near schools and around pubs and clubs at closing time.

We offer various treatments on spectacle lenses which may be beneficial to you.

If you would like more information or advice please do call us or pop in and see us. We’ll be happy to help.