Now that winter is in full swing, you probably do a fair amount of your driving at night. If you’re like most people, you don’t see nearly as well during the night as you during the day. Unfortunately, there’re no magic pills out there to make your night vision any better, and your ability to see in the dark decreases as you get older. A 50-year-old, for example, needs about twice as much light to see in the dark as a 30-year-old does. And even younger people tend to suffer from a tendency to be nearsighted in the dark, called night myopia. That being said, however, here’s a list of things you can do to make it easier and safer for you to drive your NYC rental car at night.
Wear a Hat and Sunglasses During the Day
Too much exposure to bright sunlight, especially when you’re on the slopes or at the beach, can “bleach” the photoreceptors in your eyes, making it take that much longer for your eyes to adjust to the dark. It typically takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to the dark, but exposure to sunlight for just two or three hours can delay this night adaptation by several hours. Your night vision will get worse the longer you stay in the sun. Wearing neutral gray sunglasses and a hat with a brim during the day can alleviate this somewhat and make it a little bit easier for your eyes to adjust to the darkness when driving your NYC rental car at night.
You need a certain amount of vitamins coming in to your system to be able to see well, typically Vitamin A. A multivitamin is usually a good bet to get what you need.
Make Your Windshield Disappear
If you can see your windshield instead of through it, then you need to clean it. Light coming through a dirty windshield is refracted, which increases the glare coming through the windshield. Even something as simple as cleaning your NYC rental car’s windshield with those glass cleaners at gas stations will help immensely in this regard.
Dim the Dash Lights
If you ever look outside through a window at night, you find yourself turning off inside lights to help you see better, right? Well, the same principle applies in your NYC rental car. The instrument panel has a dimmer function for a reason. The dimmer the light inside the vehicle, the better you’ll be able to see in the dark, so only keep the instrument panel illumination bright enough for you to safely read it.
When driving down the road in your NYC rental car, avoid the temptation to look directly at the headlights of oncoming traffic. You should instead look down and about 20 degrees to the right, more or less at the white line marking the outside edge of your travel lane. Doing this reduces glare, and allows you to pick up peripheral motion while still maintaining some of your night vision.
Adjust Your Mirrors
Aside from simply flipping your NYC rental car’s rearview mirror to its night setting (in some cars this happens automatically), you should also consider adjusting your side mirrors. You do this in much the same way you would set your own car’s mirrors to cut down on blind spots: place your head against the window and adjust the mirror so that you can see the rear fender at the edge of the glass, then put your head roughly in the middle of the car and do the same with the passenger-side mirror.
Get Regular Eye Exams
Medical experts maintain that people under 40 should get their eyes checked every three years, those age 40-60 should have them checked every two years, and those over 60 should have them checked every year. Making sure you have your eyes checked regularly will ensure that you are able to catch and remove cataracts before they can affect your vision too severely.