Driving can be scary enough as it, but it gets a little more so at night. At night, you can’t see your surroundings nearly as well, no matter how good your headlights are. The most difficult aspect of night driving, however, is the glare.
With high-powered headlights shining at you from both oncoming traffic and vehicles behind you, it can be easy to have so much glare that you cannot see. A split-second of not being able to see properly can be all it takes to cause a serious accident. As such, it is highly important to do everything you can to reduce glare while you’re driving. Thankfully, there are a lot of basic tasks you can do to make sure that you have the best vision possible while driving at night.
What to adjust in your car to reduce glare
The best thing you can do to your vehicle is utilize the night setting for your rearview mirror. In some cars, this is done automatically when it gets dark out, but in most vehicles, you have to turn on this setting manually (which sometimes means pressing a button, and sometimes means adjusting the mirror by hand). The night setting severely reduces the glare from cars behind you, and makes it much safer (and more comfortable to drive).
Keeping your car clean also has an impact on glare. The more dirt that light has to reflect off of, the worse your glare will be. In other words, if you have a very dirty windshield, you’re going to be subject to a lot of glare. Keeping your windshield, windows, side mirrors, and rearview mirror clean can really help limit the glare from surrounding traffic.
Getting your headlights aligned can help as well. Over time, your headlights can alter direction slightly, so they don’t point directly at the road. Having them aligned won’t reduce your glare, per se, but it will light the road for you more successfully, which really helps when you are experiencing glare.
How to drive at night to reduce glare
No matter what you do to your care, you’re going to experience some glare when you drive at night. To make sure that it doesn’t have a dangerous effect, there are some things you can do to ensure that you still drive safely.
Most importantly, you should never look directly at oncoming traffic. Always keep your eyes on the road, and use your peripheral vision to gauge where traffic is. If you stare directly at an oncoming vehicle and its bright headlights, your vision will be dramatically compromised.
It’s also important to always keep interior lights off while you’re driving, as they contribute to glare, and limit how much you can see the road ahead of you.
And, if you wear glasses, always make sure that they’re very clean before driving at night, as any dust on them can cause a lot of glare. You can even get an anti-reflective coating for your glasses to help limit glare.
You can’t fully get rid of glare, but you can reduce how much of it you receive, and how safely you drive when you do experience glare. All of the tips above are easy to implement, and can make driving at night, whether you’re going a short or long distance, much safer. It’s always better to be safe than to be sorry when it comes to driving, so do everything you can to limit the glare you deal with as a driver.