Driving at night has its drawbacks; from the limited visibility your headlights give you to the glare that comes from oncoming traffic, these are some of the challenges you face while driving in the dark. These challenges can be anything from irritation and nuisance to outrightly dangerous.
But are there ways to deal with bright headlights from oncoming traffic, or should you suffer in silence? You need solutions to deal with the blinding light to prevent yourself from losing proper vision, even if only for a few seconds. These precious seconds may stop you from avoiding an obstacle right in front of you or make you get off the road.
Ways To Deal With Bright Headlights
- Turn Your Eyes Away
One sure way to overcome bright headlights is to look away from them. But because you need to keep your eyes on the road so as not to veer off it, you need to train your eyes on the fog line painted on the side of the road. Keeping your eyes on the fog line prevents you from staring at the offending lights until they have passed.
Humans have the intolerable urge to stare at bright lights. This urge makes it a struggle not to get carried away by the bright lights. So keeping your eyes on a particular object like the fog line keeps them from the blinding light.
- Get Polarized Eyeglasses
Getting polarized eyeglasses is another way to combat bright headlights. Polarized sunglasses work by eliminating the dangerous glare that comes from the sun and other light sources. People who engage in activities that require sharp vision are advised to wear these glasses.
Polarized lenses work by preventing too much light from getting into your eye. They use a particular chemical applied to the lens to prevent a certain amount of light from getting past them. These chemical molecules are arranged on a vertical plane so that they only allow light that hits them vertically to go through the lens to your eyes.
The light that comes through horizontal planes tends to be glare reflected off different surfaces and will blind you momentarily if it gets to your eyes. The lens blocks this light from getting past it. Because the lens blocks off some light from getting to your eyes, the image you get is darker than usual. But these glasses give you crisper and sharper images, helping you see better.
- Clean and Repair Your Windscreen
One culprit that you may not think of when thinking of a glare flare cause is your windscreen. But spots, cracks, and dirt can cause glare flares that will blind you from time to time. An easy fix to this problem is to clean your windshield on the inside and outside so that you can eliminate all marks that scatter light into a glare.
Remember that other glass surfaces can also cause glare, so you should clean them too. Clean the rear screen, the side mirrors, the rear view mirror, and the windows.
Cracks can also cause glares; you can fix this by replacing your damaged windscreen with a new one. While you can sand off small cracks, it is almost impossible to repair the glass. So consider a new replacement for the windscreen.
- Slow Down
Encountering bright headlights can disorient you for a few seconds. The momentary loss of vision can affect you to the point of not seeing what is ahead of you. It is possible to crash into oncoming traffic or an immobile object on the road.
To prevent any of the above scenarios, slow down and bank to your outer lane to give oncoming traffic some birth while keeping your eye on the fog light border. This defensive technique protects you and those around you from your compromised vision.
- Signal the Driver
In some cases, the offending driver put their headlights on high and forgot to restore them to low beam when they encountered incoming traffic. You can dip your lights to signal them so that they understand their high beam is on. If that does not work, you can flash them one to three times so they can lower their beam intensity.
Only use momentary flashes, so you do not blind them like they are blinding you. In some parts of the world, flashing drivers is not legal, so check if this action is allowed before you do it.
- Adjust Your Rear-View Mirror
Offending bright headlights do not only come from oncoming traffic. They also come from drivers tailing you. Should this happen, the fastest solution is to switch your rear-view mirror to night mode. This switch sits in the middle of the bottom frame for most rear-view mirrors. Flipping it up lifts the mirror by a few degrees to cut off the beams from the car behind you.
- Have Your Eyes Checked
An impaired vision can also affect your eyesight, and driving with poor eyesight can cause your eyes to be more affected by bright headlights. Some conditions affecting your driving at night include night blindness, short-sightedness, cataracts, vitamin A deficiency, and glaucoma.
All of these conditions affect your night driving in different ways. You should visit an ophthalmologist if you struggle with night driving. Most of these conditions have solutions, especially when caught early on.
- Take A Break
One of the safest solutions to constantly getting blinded by bright headlights is to take a break on the side of the road. It is a safe solution that helps you recover your vision and get back on the road when it is safe. Remember, you protect yourself and other road users when you are cautious.
How To Protect Other Road Users From Glare
While it is essential to protect yourself from bright headlights, you may also be the cause of glare for other road users. Protect them by following these simple steps:
- Ensure your headlights are clean and polished to disperse beams in the right direction and not cause glare from the reflector or projector lenses.
- Check that your lights are pointed in the right direction and not directly into the eyes of oncoming drivers. You can have a professional align your lights properly if they are misaligned.
- Check that the lights you have installed do not affect other drivers. Lights with a blue color, auxiliary lights combined with regular lights, and HID and LED lights are constant culprits causing incoming traffic discomfort through glares.
- Have a habit of constantly dimming your lights when you face oncoming traffic. Dim your lights whenever you have a driver get 500 feet (152 meters) near you.
- Never retaliate by turning your high beam on when an oncoming driver has their high beam on. Blinding one another can have an adverse effect and possibly cause an accident.
Your vision is of utmost importance when driving, and you should protect it from harm as much as possible. Take care of your eyes so that they can handle night driving. And since driving at night is the most dangerous time to drive, take extra caution to protect yourself and other road users. Take care of your lights so that you do not harm or irritate other road users.
How have you handled bright headlights? Kindly tell us in the comments below.