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Night Driving with Glasses or Contacts: Safety Tips from Rivertown Eye Care

Driving at night presents unique challenges and risks, especially for those wearing glasses or contacts. Reduced visibility, glare from headlights, and difficulty in judging distances can make night driving daunting. At Rivertown Eye Care in Hastings, Minnesota, we prioritize your vision and safety. Here are some essential tips and insights for safely navigating the roads at night, whether you're wearing glasses or contacts.

View of driving on highway at night
Many people find driving with glasses at night helpful.

Understanding the Dangers of Night Driving

Night driving significantly reduces visibility due to the absence of natural light and the glare from oncoming traffic, streetlights, and other sources. For those with vision correction needs, glasses or contacts can add another layer of complexity, potentially exacerbating glare and reflections.

Factors that impact our vision while driving at night:

1. Reduced Visibility: Lower light levels make it harder to see road signs, pedestrians, and obstacles.

2. Glare from Headlights: Oncoming headlights can cause significant glare, especially for those with corrective lenses.

3. Difficulty Judging Distance: Darkness can impair depth perception, making it challenging to judge the distance and speed of other vehicles.

Tips for Safe Night Driving with Glasses or Contacts

Choose the Right Eyewear: For glasses wearers, lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating can significantly reduce glare from headlights and streetlights, enhancing night vision. Contact lens wearers should ensure their lenses are clean and moist to prevent dry eyes, which can be exacerbated at night.

Keep Your Eyewear Clean: Smudges and fingerprints can worsen glare. Regularly cleaning your glasses or contacts can improve clarity and reduce distractions.

Ensure Your Prescription is Up to Date: Wearing the correct prescription is crucial for optimal vision at night. Regular eye exams at Rivertown Eye Care will ensure your prescription meets your current vision needs.

Use Adequate Lighting Inside the Vehicle: Ensure your dashboard lights are bright enough to read without straining your eyes but not so bright that they cause reflections on your glasses.

Adjust Your Driving Habits: Increase your following distance to allow more reaction time. Also, reduce your speed to compensate for the decreased visibility and increased reaction times required at night.

Take Breaks During Long Trips: Eye fatigue can become a significant safety issue, especially at night. Taking regular breaks during long drives can help reduce the risk of eye strain and maintain alertness.

Manage Headlight Glare: If oncoming lights are too bright, try to focus on the right side of your lane instead of looking directly at the headlights to reduce glare and distraction.

Use Night Mode on Dashboards and Devices: Many modern vehicles and smartphones offer a night mode setting that reduces blue light and dims the display, minimizing eye strain and preserving night vision.

Consider Specialized Night Driving Glasses: Some drivers find glasses designed for night driving helpful. These glasses, typically with yellow-tinted lenses, claim to reduce glare and improve contrast.

Trail of light
Glare from headlights and other lights sources at night can be hazardous.

When to Consult with an Eye Care Professional

If you find night driving increasingly difficult, even with corrective lenses, it may be time to consult with an eye care professional. Changes in night vision can be an early indicator of vision problems or the need for an updated prescription.

Rivertown Eye Care in Hastings, Minnesota, offers comprehensive eye exams and personalized solutions for your vision needs. Our team can help determine the best corrective lenses for night driving, including recommending lenses with AR coating or exploring options for contact lens wearers.


Night driving with glasses or contacts doesn't have to be a stressful experience. By taking the right precautions and ensuring your eyewear is optimized for low-light conditions, you can significantly improve your safety and comfort on the road at night. Remember, regular eye exams are crucial for maintaining optimal vision and ensuring your glasses or contacts are suited to your needs, including night driving.

At Rivertown Eye Care, we're dedicated to helping our community in Hastings and the Twin Cities see clearly and drive safely, day and night.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your vision and night-driving needs. Stay safe, and happy driving!


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