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Romanov Report 51 – Oct 25, 2006

October 25, 2006

Night Vision & Driving

Traffic death rates are 3 times greater at night than during the day. Driving at night is scary. 90% of a driver’s reaction depends on vision, which is severely limited at night.

Depth perception, colour recognition, and peripheral vision are all compromised.

Happy Halloween, hope your car insurance rate isn’t as scary as this colour vision test.

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Psychological & Physical Influences To Night Driving


Target fixation:
Much like a moth is attracted to a flame, drivers can become “fixated” on oncoming car lights, resulting in a collision.

To avoid target fixation, concentrate on shifting your eyes as you would in daylight hours, checking traffic around you and road conditions around of you.


Twilight:
As the sun goes down, twilight is one of the most difficult times to drive because your eyes are constantly changing to adapt to the growing darkness.

Turn your headlights on in early twilight. They’ll make it easier for other drivers to see you. Being seen is as important as seeing.


Older Drivers
have even greater difficulties seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year old. So be aware.


Corrective Surgery:
Until 2 years ago corrective laser surgery was a problem for about 5% of drivers, while driving at night. Oncoming cars would cause haze and glare.


Night Vision & Your Car


Headlights
deteriorate with age. They fall out of alignment and need to be adjusted approximately every 12 months. Misaimed headlights blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.

The plastic moldings age due to the sun’s rays and cause the lights to become cloudy and dull.

When following another vehicle, keep your headlights on low beams so you don’t blind the driver ahead of you too.


Wiper Blades
need to be replaced approximately every 6 months. Looking through a blurry windshield at night is never fun. Remember to top up washer fluid and keep a spare container of it in your car.


Windshields:
A substance can form on the inside of car windshields. It’s a sticky film which forms from a gas. You’ll know it if you have it. There are specific cleaners to clean this stuff off your windows, Windex won’t cut it.

If the windshield can’t be cleaned, replace it. Ever seen glass shatter? A scratched, chipped or damaged windshield can impair your vision. Think what it can do when it explodes while you’re driving.


“Tricks & Treats” To Seeing Better At Night


Trouble Seeing:
If you have trouble seeing while driving at night, turn on the cabin light in your car. This is perfectly legal and helps you see better at night.


Oncoming:
If an oncoming vehicle doesn’t lower their beams from high to low, you can avoid the glare by looking towards the right edge of the road and using it as a steering guide. And stop flashing your lights at them, or it could take a nasty turn.


STOP:
It’s harder to judge your speed and distance at night. Drive so you can stop within the range of the light from your headlights.


One drink
can induce fatigue and acts as a depressant, while impairing your driving ability. And this would cause your insurance company to get very mad at you.


Avoid smoking
when you drive. Smoke’s nicotine and carbon monoxide hamper night vision, not to mention giving you a very dirty windshield to try to peer through.


Keep It Clean:
Do you clean headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows at least once a week? Once a year is the wrong answer.


Too Tired:
Don’t drive when you are tired. Stop and walk around, the exercise energizes your circulation and will wake you up.


Be Prepared:
If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible. Warn approaching traffic at once by setting up flares or reflecting triangles near your vehicle and 300 feet behind it. Turn on flashers and the car’s dome light. Stay off the roadway and get passengers away from the area.