TIPS FOR DRIVING AFTER DARK

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We've found that headlights even in brand-new cars are sometimes uneven or pointed lower than necessary. So it's worth the effort to aim them correctly. If you do it yourself, use the instructions in your owner's manual. And be patient. It may take a few tries before you have them pointed perfectly. Just make sure those newly aimed lights are not blinding oncoming traffic. Even lights that are aimed correctly can cast a dim glow if something is blocking the light, so be sure to clean the road grime from your headlights often. If you have an older car with plastic lens covers, those covers might have yellowed or faded over the years. The best fix is to buy a headlight polish kit to remove the haze so your lights shine through brightly. And check that they produce the same amount of light as they did when new. Aged incandescent bulbs make less light than new ones.


Cars come with dashboard dimmer switches for a reason. With bright dashboard LEDs and large infotainment screens finding their way into vehicles, there are a lot of sources of unnecessary and distracting lighting inside a vehicle that can diminish your vision. Dimming dash lights can remove reflections on the windshield and allow your eyes to better adjust to the darkness ahead, improving nighttime visibility. Other interior lights like map lights can also distract form nighttime driving, often casting light throughout the cabin. Not every car is a culprit when it comes to bright map lights—luxury cars do a good job with directing such lights—but it's best to not use them at all.


Glasses—prescription or otherwise—add another reflective surface between the driver’s eyes and the road, so choosing the correct glasses to wear is crucial to improved nighttime visibility. The best option? Prescription lenses with anti-reflective coating. This coating stops additional, unnecessary light from reflecting inside your lenses while allowing more light to pass through.

And don’t buy the late-night-TV yellow-tint sunglasses that say they help you see better at night. The Sunglass Association of America says that’s a farce. While companies pushing yellow-tint sunglasses say the added color enhances contrast, they cut down on the amount of light that passes through them, making distinguishing objects and road hazards more difficult, something you don’t want when you’re driving at night.