September/October 2021 Issue
A driver’s eyesight is crucial in preventing car crashes, because nearly all the sensory input needed to drive a car comes from visual cues. If your eyesight is diminished, so is your ability to drive safely. This is especially true for senior drivers, who may also have diminished reaction time.
Challenges of Driving at Night
When you’re behind the wheel, your vision is the most important tool you have. That’s why most states require motorists to undergo vision tests as part of the driver’s license renewal process. Depending on where you live, you may need to have a vision test in person at a state licensing office or submit results of a test performed by an eye doctor.
By age 60, your eyes need three times as much light to see as they did at age 20. That’s because over the years, pupils get smaller and don’t dilate as much in dark conditions, which makes driving at night particularly hazardous.
Your vision may test well in the eye doctor’s office but still be limited when driving at night, where lighting is poor and more complex visual tasks are required. The ability to resist glare and see reflective road signs and markings also decreases with age, so senior drivers should take extra care when driving at night.