Even people who have been blessed with perfect vision their entire lives often start having difficulty seeing clearly enough as they get older. As one ophthalmologist says, “We start to lose function after age 30 and it gets worse with age.”
One place where many people start to notice this is with night driving. Being on the road after dark (or before the sun rises) can be challenging for anyone. As the ophthalmologist explains, “We’re daytime creatures. Until the invention of the light bulb, people generally went to bed when it was dark, so our eyes aren’t engineered to function well at night.” However, the older we are, the more difficult it is.
As we get older our pupils don’t dilate as quickly or as much in the dark as they used to. In fact, the average 60-year-old eyes require triple the amount of light to be able to see as the average 20-year-old eyes.
Further, people’s corneas start to get cloudy as they age. That causes light to scatter. This can make it difficult to drive when you have headlight glare all around you. You can help reduce this by looking off a bit towards the right instead of directly into the lights ahead. Keeping your inside lights, including the lights of the indicators on your dashboard turned down slightly can help also.
As we move into fall and winter, most of us will be spending more time in less-than-sunny conditions on the road. If you can’t avoid driving when it’s dark, be sure to do everything possible to improve your ability to do so. This can help you be ready for drivers who may not be as conscientious as you. If you are injured in a crash caused by another driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your expenses and damages.