Do you have trouble driving at night? Could a pair of night driving glasses improve your night vision?
Driving at night can be stressful due to less light coming into the eye, along with glares from oncoming traffic. To help people see better at night, some manufacturers sell night vision glasses. But do these really help? And if not, what alternatives are available?
What are Night Vision Glasses?
Night driving glasses have non-prescription, yellow-tinted lenses and sometimes an antireflective coating. They reduce glare by scattering and filtering out blue light. While you might be hearing about these glasses for the first time, they have actually been around for many years. Originally, they were marketed to hunters as shooting glasses.
Do Night Driving Glasses Work?
While it’s true that yellow lenses reduce the amount of light coming into your eye, this will only make your night vision worse – not better. Knowing this, night vision glasses are better left for their original intention: To enhance contrast in certain daylight conditions.
Some people do report seeing better at night when wearing night vision glasses, but the research does not support this. Visual tests of people driving at night find that night vision glasses do not improve clarity. In fact, one study found that wearing night driving glasses can actually slow down visual reflexes.
Are there Alternatives to Glasses for Night Vision?
If you’re having trouble seeing clearly at night, your first step is to visit an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam. It’s possible that your prescription needs to be updated. Just a small refractive error can make things difficult to see at night. Additional tips to help you see better on the road are:
- Talk to your eye doctor about getting an antireflective coating on your prescription eyeglasses.
- Keep your eyeglasses and sunglasses clean. Smudges and fingerprints can make glares worse.
- Replace your windshield wipers regularly. This usually happens around 6-12 months, or when you see a difference in driving visibility.
- Keep dashboard lights dim to avoid eye strain. Most cars have a dimmer switch that allows you to adjust their brightness.
- Clean your headlights regularly. In fact, cleaning your headlights can prevent you from spending money on expensive replacement items.
Get Your Eye Exams on Time
Bottom line: Night driving glasses will not help you see better at night. In fact, they can give you a false sense of security.
If you’re having trouble seeing in the dark, schedule an eye exam with your eye specialist to make sure your prescription hasn’t changed. During this appointment, you can also discuss ways to make night driving safer.