How Your Vision Changes When Driving at Night

Our vision changes when night falls. Such changes can affect our ability to drive as safely as we do during the day. Learn how your vision changes at night and the measures you should take to protect yourself.

Nighttime Vision Changes

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the main differences between daytime and nighttime vision include:

  • The pupils become larger and the eye lets in more light.
  • A different, more sensitive cell in the eye (the rod cell) collects the light.
  • Night vision is mostly or completely in black and white. Color vision is poor in very low light conditions.

Sometimes, our eyes do not make the necessary transition from daytime to nighttime sight due to vision problems. Some of the most common nighttime vision problems include:

  • Trouble seeing objects that aren’t nearby
  • Blurry vision
  • Glare or halos around lights

How Does This Affect Driving Safety?

Those who cannot see clearly at night may not be able to distinguish hazards in the road or react to sudden traffic changes in time to prevent an accident. This does not necessarily mean, however, that you have to give up driving. There may be some measures you can take to improve your nighttime vision, including the following:

  • Visit an ophthalmologist. Your doctor may ask you questions about your vision, view your eyes, and conduct tests including the Pelli-Robson Contrast Sensitivity Chart, which measures how well you can see the contrast between white paper and light gray shapes. After these tests, your doctor may give you a prescription that could improve your nighttime vision.
  • Consume Vitamin A. Vitamin A is required for dark adaptation of the eyes because it regenerates the rhodopsin in rod cells after they've been exposed to bright light. Since functional rods are essential for nighttime vision, it’s important to consume enough of this nutrient.

Even if you take all of these measures (or do not have nighttime vision problems) car accidents can still occur. If you have been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, our Sacramento personal injury attorneys can help you seek justice.

Call Kershaw Talley Barlow at (916) 520-6639 to schedule a free consultation.

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