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Do you find driving in the dark difficult? We have the solutions to get your night-driving confidence back – especially during these long winter evenings.

The long winter nights can often be off-putting for drivers. Decreased visibility and the glare of headlights from oncoming traffic can affect your vision and reduce your confidence when the night draws in. But we don’t think you should be put off from driving – even when it’s a dark night. Our guide will help you get behind the wheel with confidence – at any time of night or day.

Optical issues associated with night-driving

As night draws in and darkness falls, it can sometimes be daunting to think about driving. The lack of light entering your eye means your vision isn’t as effective as usual and your level of concentration has to be high to navigate safely – particularly if you drive on poorly lit roads. The main issues are:

  • Although headlights are useful at illuminating the road, they don’t provide as much light as the sun during the day, meaning you may experience a reduction in peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to differentiate between colours. This means that it may take longer to spot hazards on the road and increase your reaction times.
  • Glare of oncoming headlights can often be dazzling – particularly if other road users forget to take off their full-beam. Furthermore, LED or Xenon headlights are becoming more and more common on the roads; while these are beneficial to the driver, the increased headlamp brightness also causes more glare for oncoming traffic, making it harder to identify pedestrians, road hazards and curves in the road.
  • You may be more tired at night, and so have reduced concentration.

Some people may encounter further problems when driving at night due to impaired night vision. Older people are often more vulnerable because, as we age, the lens in our eyes lose their transparency and begin to cloud (an early sign of cataract formation). This causes light to scatter much more than in an unclouded eye, causing more glare.

If you have retinopathy – which is common in people with diabetes – reduction in night vision can be an early warning sign.

Self-help tips to improve your night-driving vision

Some simple self-help tips are:

  • Keep distractions to a minimum to maintain maximum concentration. That may mean turning off the radio or asking your passenger(s) to talk quietly so you can concentrate on the road.
  • Ensure that you are well rested before driving at night.
  • Dim your dashboard lights and anything else that may be illuminating the inside of your car to help your eyes adjust to the outside.
  • Keep your windscreen and mirrors clean.
  • Have your eyes checked regularly.

Expert advice to improve your night-driving vision

If you are experiencing high levels of glare or poor night vision, particularly when driving in the dark, it is important to see your optometrist to get an expert’s judgement.  They will be able to identify the causes for your problems with night vision and recommend suitable products or treatments.

Kings Hill Opticians offer these products which can go a long way to helping you feel more at ease while driving in dark conditions:

  • Varilux RoadPilot: These glasses have sophisticated lenses which provide significant glare reduction because of their Crizal Drive anti-reflective coating.
  • Copper Mesh Spectacle Lenses: Lenses which were originally designed for military air-traffic controllers who used computer 18 hours each day. They can help if you suffer from glare-related problems such as headaches and migraines, helping you feel more comfortable when driving at night.

Driving at night can be a struggle, but don’t despair! There are simple things you can do to make it easier for yourself, and there are products available to make you feel more comfortable when driving in the dark. Our expert optometrists will help you find the best solution for you – so you feel confident behind the wheel at all times.

For a state-of-the-art eye test, call 01732 875544


Kings Hill Opticians provide expert eye tests, eye care, glasses, lenses, spectacles and contact lenses

 for patients in Kent and Sussex,

 including Kings Hill, West Malling, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Paddock Wood.



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Kings Hill Opticians
2 Liberty Square
Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent
ME19 4AU

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Our registered office is at 2 Liberty Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4AU.