Driving at night

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Discussion

Isaac Hunt

Original Poster:

9,230 posts

148 months

Saturday
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I currently have cataracts which are affecting the vision in one of my eyes quite significantly. Oddly enough as the vision in my other eye is OK, I am deemed fit to drive. yikes

However I have self elected not to drive at night as it is bloody horrible due to glare and by the end of the day my eyes are tired. Thankfully I walk to work so it is not impacting too much on my life, but I am amazed at the amount of people who also don't drive at night out of choice. Not just oldies, but the middle-aged wives of work colleagues.

I am being referred for an operation and hope that I can cope with night driving again. But it did get me wondering if there are other PHers who struggle with night driving.

tomsugden

1,492 posts

165 months

Saturday
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I don't enjoy driving at night, but needs must. I got some varifocals last year and it made a huge difference to night driving.

Davie_GLA

4,497 posts

136 months

Saturday
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HI struggle at night and every year my eyesight is perfect. New LED lights etc don’t help and piss poor street lighting that hasn’t moved on much from candles in jars.

Total Drivin

15 posts

3 months

Saturday
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I prefer driving in the dead of night when the world is asleep. I thoroughly enjoy a good Sunday morning blast between midnight and 6am to the coast to watch the waves crash on the rocks whilst the sun rises mid summer.

Back to reality the the daily rat race especially the winter commute when it's dark and rainy at 5pm roads rammed with humans all trying to get home. Not so much.

Glasgowrob

2,154 posts

58 months

Saturday
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Echo the above much prefer overnight to evening driving.

Done north of 100k miles a year for the last few years and you do see some worrying sites drivers obviously tired making mistakes and dozing off.

The biggest problem a lot of people struggle with is vision you might have perfect eyesight but doesn't mean you might not struggle in the dark speak to your optician about it. And glasses with an anti glare coating make the world of difference at night

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Buster73

3,013 posts

90 months

Saturday
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Quite happy with night driving, but sometimes I struggle with the hour as the sunsets and pure dark .

Don’t know why either.

Jimi.K.

145 posts

14 months

Saturday
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I'm surprised there aren't more regulations on headlight brightness - modern LEDs and Xenons are just too bright meaning even when properly adjusted you get blinded by oncoming traffic coming over the crest of hills or on uneven roads. I'm young and my eyesight is fine, but if my eyes took any longer to recover from momentary-blindness than they currently do I wouldn't feel comfortable driving at night.

I was driving along the M4 at midnight yesterday and there were multiple occasions where I dimmed my rear mirror because I was being blinded by a car behind, only to find it wasn't some idiot with badly adjusted aftermarket Xenons, but an brand new car with LED headlights!

Isaac Hunt

Original Poster:

9,230 posts

148 months

Saturday
quotequote all
Jimi.K. said:
I'm surprised there aren't more regulations on headlight brightness - modern LEDs and Xenons are just too bright meaning even when properly adjusted you get blinded by oncoming traffic coming over the crest of hills or on uneven roads. I'm young and my eyesight is fine, but if my eyes took any longer to recover from momentary-blindness than they currently do I wouldn't feel comfortable driving at night.

I was driving along the M4 at midnight yesterday and there were multiple occasions where I dimmed my rear mirror because I was being blinded by a car behind, only to find it wasn't some idiot with badly adjusted aftermarket Xenons, but an brand new car with LED headlights!
My issue is not helped as I drive a sports coupe and my driving position is lower than most other cars.

timberman

426 posts

152 months

Saturday
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I've always preferred driving at night but only in the summer months when it's dry,
the roads are much quieter and the occasional headlight doesn't really bother me,

however in the colder months and especially when it's wet I find the reflections of lights off the road can be quite dazzling which can make progress more difficult,
that coupled with tyres having less grip and the chances of hitting potholes and other dangers due to reduced visibility I tend to avoid it unless necessary.

Pica-Pica

4,157 posts

21 months

Saturday
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Davie_GLA said:
HI struggle at night and every year my eyesight is perfect. New LED lights etc don’t help and piss poor street lighting that hasn’t moved on much from candles in jars.
Funnily enough, I seem to be better now at driving at night. I have LEDs, and yes, you get the LEDs that are a bit bright over bumps etc.

Streetlights? I don’t where you live but they are much brighter now, we have LED streetlights mostly (rural Wales), so bright that birds are singing all through the night at the back of us.

If oncoming traffic headlamps are too bright - you don’t have to look at them, you know! As you drive, your eyes must be scanning everywhere, and that includes the kerb-side. If you feel blinded by headlamps, direct your eyes to the left hand edge of the road and focus there. That will help a lot.

Jimi.K.

145 posts

14 months

Saturday
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Isaac Hunt said:
My issue is not helped as I drive a sports coupe and my driving position is lower than most other cars.
Ah yes good point. I've recently switched to an Audi A5 and I have the seat as low as it goes so that explains why I've been finding it worse recently! My rear mirror is almost permanently dimmed at night now as I'm tired of being blinded by drivers behind!

timberman

426 posts

152 months

Saturday
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Jimi.K. said:
Ah yes good point. I've recently switched to an Audi A5 and I have the seat as low as it goes so that explains why I've been finding it worse recently! My rear mirror is almost permanently dimmed at night now as I'm tired of being blinded by drivers behind!
yep
I find a big difference between driving my 911 and my wifes Tiguan, much easier to see where I'm going and a lot less dazzle from other road users in the tiguan, and much more suited to driving at this time of the year.

Ed/L152

234 posts

174 months

Saturday
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I have better than 20:20 vision, but have developed some astigmatism. I didn't realise this was an issue because I'd never previously had cause for regular eye tests. My astigmatism is only noticeable in high-contrast environments - i.e. car headlights at night when it causes smearing of the image.

A bit like this (although photo is possibly just from a dirty windscreen):


Just saying, you may have otherwise good vision but still benefit from glasses to drive at night.

Edited by Ed/L152 on Saturday 12th January 10:31

MitchT

12,190 posts

146 months

Saturday
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I have my eyes tested every year. Pretty much perfect eyesight but driving in the dark is a nightmare due to fking HIDs.

RemyMartin81D

4,313 posts

142 months

Saturday
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You've not suffered until you've ridden a pre facelift fzs600 fazer. They are outrageously bad.

Dr Jekyll

15,964 posts

198 months

Saturday
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Ed/L152 said:
I have better than 20:20 vision, but have developed some astigmatism. I didn't realise this was an issue because I'd never previously had cause for regular eye tests. My astigmatism is only noticeable in high-contrast environments - i.e. car headlights at night when it causes smearing of the image.
Not sure how accurate this is. But I was told that if your eye is a complicated shape you might have more astigmatism at night when your pupil enlarges, and a normal eyetest won't pick this up.

mike9009

3,766 posts

180 months

Saturday
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I am in a similar position. I have cataracts in both eyes, but my left eye is rapidly changing its prescription atm. Oddly, I have found my night vision has improved from last year. LED lights don't bother me too much, I still despise people driving with front fog/ driving lights on though - but that has been the case for the last 20 years! smile

I went to the opticians yesterday, who said I am fine to drive. My biggest struggle is reading screens at work. At that focal distance I am getting a slightly double image, probably because my prescription is quite different between the two eyes now. I am needing a new prescription every three months which with varifocals and maxed thinned lenses is becoming an expensive habit - although Specsavers have a 50% off offer if you buy another set of glasses within six months which has helped - luckily they honoured this despite my different prescription.

I have my first 'cataract clinic' appointment in Feb - so hopefully I will just get both eyes done (might need to go private for that though....) With the difference in prescription, I would otherwise need to wear one contact lens rather than glasses - which I am not keen on. It will be strange because I have worn glasses since the age of 7. Not wearing glasses for distance work will be strange and potentially liberating??

I am also quite young for this, but with high myopia (-8 and -9.5), diabetic, hereditary early on-set cataracts and a vitrectomy under my belt, it was going to happen sooner or later!

Are they going to do your cataracts operation soon? Best of luck....



Mike


Pica-Pica

4,157 posts

21 months

Saturday
quotequote all
Jimi.K. said:
Ah yes good point. I've recently switched to an Audi A5 and I have the seat as low as it goes so that explains why I've been finding it worse recently! My rear mirror is almost permanently dimmed at night now as I'm tired of being blinded by drivers behind!
Is it not auto-dim? My 1998 E36 had auto dim back then.

Ed/L152

234 posts

174 months

Saturday
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Dr Jekyll said:
Ed/L152 said:
I have better than 20:20 vision, but have developed some astigmatism. I didn't realise this was an issue because I'd never previously had cause for regular eye tests. My astigmatism is only noticeable in high-contrast environments - i.e. car headlights at night when it causes smearing of the image.
Not sure how accurate this is. But I was told that if your eye is a complicated shape you might have more astigmatism at night when your pupil enlarges, and a normal eyetest won't pick this up.
Definitely, any lens aberration is worse at larger apertures. I have had the room dimmed at the astigmatism part of eye-tests, but not every time.

Robmarriott

1,215 posts

95 months

Saturday
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Pica-Pica said:
If oncoming traffic headlamps are too bright - you don’t have to look at them, you know! As you drive, your eyes must be scanning everywhere, and that includes the kerb-side. If you feel blinded by headlamps, direct your eyes to the left hand edge of the road and focus there. That will help a lot.
Nonsense, your pupils narrow to compensate for the brightness so the darker bits appear darker, that's the problem.

Old halogen lights were dimmer, high pressure sodium street lights were dimmer and a combination of those meant that you could see more at night, despite what you'd think.