With the sun setting earlier and the days getting shorter in winter in the UAE, you automatically start doing more things and running more errands in the dark than you used to a couple of months before.
Driving at night is already a challenge for many, especially if you have eyesight problems or are older than 50 where your eyes take a longer time to adjust from bright to dim light.
If you struggle with these issues:
- Trouble seeing from oncoming headlights
- Difficulty spotting lane markings and street signs
- Not being able to judge distance and speed very well
- Needing to slow down while driving
Here are some tips for the darker months of the year to help you drive safely at night:
● Go to the eye doctor
To be able to make quick, but informed driving decisions and navigate safely, you must have strong eyesight. In order to get your driving license in Dubai, you must undergo an eye test by an RTA-approved test center first, making sure that you can see clearly and therefore, are able to judge distance and spot trouble.
There is a minimum requirement that you have to meet in the driving eye test, or otherwise, you will not be allowed to drive on UAE roads.
This is especially important as you age with time because you’ll start needing more light to be able to drive at night and your eyes will take much longer to recover from glare.
Imagine if, on top of this, you also have some eye disease that reduces your night vision too. It would be very hard to drive at night.
However, if you go to your eye doctor, and you definitely should, then they will tell you what medication you need to be on and if you need glasses. They might prescribe for you a pair of glasses that are solely designed for driving at night. They will add an anti-reflective coating to the lenses to reduce glare and sharpen your vision.
Even if you think your eyesight is good, there is no harm in scheduling an annual eye exam to check up on your eye’s health!
● Clean your glass surfaces
This includes your windshield, windows, and mirrors. You can be driving during the day just fine but as soon as it gets dark, it becomes hard to see the road ahead of you due to glare and improper use of lights by other drivers.
To reduce glare and keep safe on the road, there are a couple of things that you can do, like cleaning your glass surfaces. In addition to reducing visibility and making it harder to see objects on the road, dirty or streaked glass surfaces scatter the light when it hits them, creating glare.
So, start with your windshield; go for an initial cleaning by removing any hardened, dried-on substances.
Then, to clean the exterior, lift the wiper arms (which also need cleaning/replacing) to give you full access to the windshield. Then, cleaning one half at a time, spray the glass surface then wipe it vertically then horizontally for the best results.
After that, clean the interior of the windshield by wiping it in sections, using a glass-cleaner-wetted towel.
Once you’re done with the windshield, you may move to the next step which is to clean all other glass surfaces like the windows and mirrors. You will repeat the same process as for the windshield, starting from the exterior to the interior. For the mirrors, don’t forget to clean all of them, including front, side, and rear mirrors.
Grab a glass cleaner, mesh sponge, a towel, and go at it. Let’s go!
● Strong lighting is not your friend
Driving with your dash lights on max is like agreeing to be distracted from the road. Having your dash brightness really high can seriously compromise your forward vision as it leads to stray reflections.
Also, staring or even looking at oncoming headlights can temporarily affect your vision at night.
This is all because it is hard to switch from bright light to dim light so quickly. So, when oncoming traffic is approaching at night, try not to look directly at it. It is most advised that you either keep looking forward or move your gaze towards the right lane so your eyesight is not affected and you don’t lose control over the car.
The reduced visibility at night is enough challenge for nighttime drives and even the most experienced drivers might struggle. In order to protect yourself, passengers riding with you, other drivers, and pedestrians, you should be extra careful sitting behind the wheel at night. Driving in a safe manner will not only safeguard you but will also maintain your car value in case you want to sell any car in Dubai.
Author: Sultan Asad from We Buy Cars DXB