If you’re having more difficulty driving at night than you used to, you’re not alone. Many people have this problem as they get older. Even if you regularly see an optometrist, have the proper prescription lenses and don’t have untreated issues like cataracts, you may not feel as comfortable as you used to behind the wheel after sunset.
The eyes go through a number of changes as we head in to our senior years. For example, our pupils don’t dilate in the dark as much. That means less light can reach the retinas.
We also lose clarity in our lenses and corneas. That means that we’re exposed to light (like headlights or street lamps), it can scatter inside our eyes. That increases the amount of glare we experience. When these parts of the eye become less clear, it’s also more difficult to see objects — such as an animal in the road or a car without its lights on.
As we get older, we’re more likely to develop conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and what are called higher-order aberrations (HOAs).
HOAs often can’t be corrected by prescription lenses. Symptoms may include double vision, halos and/or blurring.
When coupled with the fact that our reflexes in general tend to slow down as we age, problems with our eyesight can make driving at night particularly hazardous. It can be harder to avoid a crash with a driver who behaves dangerously, moves in to our lane without signaling or ignores a stop sign.
If you don’t feel comfortable driving at night, it’s best to try to avoid it. If you need to go out, call an Uber or Lyft. However, if you’re injured in a crash that was caused by another driver’s negligence or recklessness, you have every right to seek the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses and damages.