Professional Driver's Handbook

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Night vision

Some drivers seem reluctant to do two things that are really important to safe driving at night: reduce speed and increase following distance. If you drive so fast that you can't stop within the area illuminated by your vehicle's headlights, also referred to as overdriving your headlights, you're moving too fast. And if you don't increase following distance, the difficulty in judging how fast the vehicle ahead of you is moving creates a very hazardous situation.

Not everyone sees with the same degree of perception and accuracy. At night, our ability to see diminishes and so does our ability to sort out different objects. Depth perception and judgment of distance are also affected.

A major problem faced in night driving is glare-blindness caused by approaching lights. If you have been driving in the dark for a while, you will need up to five seconds to recover from the glare of oncoming lights. This glare recovery time tends to increase with age to the point where it sometimes takes up to 25 seconds to recover. When you're faced with glare, slow down and avoid staring directly into approaching lights. If you suspect you have a glare recovery problem, check with an ophthalmologist or optometrist, and if there is a problem inform SGI's Medical Review Unit.


Rev: 2017