The powerful headlights of your car work extremely well at lighting up the road at night. Unfortunately, this technology works against you when you’re in front of the equally powerful headlights of opposing traffic. Night glare is a danger because your pupils are dilated at night to allow more light into the eyes. This leaves you vulnerable to the blinding headlights of oncoming traffic. Recovery from this kind of glare takes longer as you get older. However, there are ways you can cope with this problem and avoid the accidents and auto insurance claims it can cause:
- Look to the right side of the road. When passing oncoming traffic, avert your gaze to the white line on the right of the road, or to the road edge if there is no line. This reference will guide your steering while your peripheral vision tracks the oncoming cars.
- Keep your windshield clean and in good condition. Dirt and grime on both the inside and outside of your windshield increase road glare because they scatter the light passing through the glass. The sources of grime on the inside windshield surface are less obvious than those on the outside. Cigarette smoke, gas vapor from plastic upholstery, and dirt and pollen from the air contribute to this buildup. Clean both the inside and outside windshield surfaces with a cleaner made for glass surfaces. Use a microfiber cloth for drying. Replace your windshield if it is pitted or scratched because these will also scatter light and produce glare.
- Keep your wipers in good condition. Old and stiff wipers produce water streaking that also scatters the light passing through. When your wipers are cracked or start to streak, replace them. They’re inexpensive yet are critical to your driving safety.
- Dim your dashboard lights. Adjust your dashboard lights until your instruments are bright enough to read but no brighter. Interior lighting of any kind interferes with your ability to see outside your car.
- Keep your glasses clean and in good condition. If you wear glasses, dirt or any scratches will scatter light passing through them and create glare.
- Consider getting an anti-reflective coating for your glasses. This prevents back-glare caused by light reflecting off the inside surface of the glasses. Traffic passing you on the side on multilane roads is a big source of this glare.