Night Driving and Vision

Victor LopesEye Health

night driving
driving at night
Difficulty seeing may first develop while driving at night
by Dr. Nadine Shelton

Challenges of Night Driving

The challenges of Night Driving are increased during the transition to winter with shorter daylight hours and longer nights. Most people feel safe driving during the day, but the onset of darkness or less favourable weather can bring added challenges for some. Dark conditions and lights from oncoming car headlights will make it harder to see the road, pedestrians and other traffic. Too much glare from lights can distract or momentarily blind a driver and make it difficult to see what is up ahead.


Glare from oncoming traffic

Changes caused by Age

As the eye ages, the light sensitive cells that distinguish between light and dark called rods will weaken. This change makes it harder to see object and causes the eye to focus slower in low light. Cataracts are another change that impairs night vision when night driving. Cataracts are when the lens of the eye becomes thicker and more rigid over time. The increased thickness causes increased reflections and glare while the hardening of the lens makes the focusing muscles work harder and fatigue faster.

vision at night

Comparing normal vision to someone with uncorrected astigmatism

Correcting Vision with Glasses

Blurred vision is a common cause of difficulty seeing while night driving, which may be corrected with a corrected prescription. It takes more effort for the eye muscles to compensate for blurred vision, as the eye ages. Halos and elongated streaks when looking at lights are more common for older drivers with uncorrected vision. A weak driving prescription is often a solution and can be worn when driving or when the eyes are not focusing as well. The shape of the eye is often the cause for the need of a prescription.

Astigmatism is when the front part of the eye that is not round enough and will allow the night driver to see the light streaking. Myopia which is an eye that is too long or hyperopia which is an eye start is too short will allow the night driver to see blurs and haloes. Either way, the imperfect shape of the eye will not allow for proper focus and what you are looking at will be blurred and distorted.

assisted night driving

Comparing a lens with no coats to a lens with an anti-glare coating

Other Night Driving Aides

It is recommended that an anti-glare coating be applied to the lenses at the time of production, when glasses are being worn to correct a driver’s vision. Anti-glare coating helps to decrease reflection on the front and back of the lenses and helps to give the wearer a clearer view. This gives the driver a sharper image with less glare from surrounding lights and oncoming traffic, which makes it especially important having this coating when driving at night.


Driving lenses, is another type of lenses that can help to improve night vision clarity and glare. These yellow tint lenses ranges from yellow to amber and help to brighten the view seen by the brain while also filtering out blue light. Blue light is thought to cause the most glare because it has the shortest wavelength of all the light rays.  At night or under dim lighting conditions, the pupil open up to allow more light into the eye. Unfortunately, this makes it harder to focus for some drivers and increases glare in their vision. The yellow tint glasses allow the pupil to stay smaller and thus reducing the amount of light and glare that enters the eye.

fit over glasses for night driving

Night driving fit over glasses

Weather can affect your night vision

The driver of a vehicle is also affected by the weather conditions. Rain or snow will add more distractions and new glare issues to consider when on the road. It is more important than ever to ensure that any small prescriptions are being corrected in order to have optimal vision, in conditions like these. Please contact your optometrist for a vision assessment and options to correct any ongoing issues, if you have any concerns about your vision.

Eye Care at nv During COVID-19

Here at nv eye care & eye wear we are open for all your routine and emergent eye care. We limit the people in our office during COVID. It is best to call ahead or email to ensure we are not busy helping someone else. Please have a seat outside on our patio until we are done helping our present patient, if you arrive at our office and the door is closed. We take the time to properly disinfect all surfaces that were touched by a previous patient before welcoming you in.

Please call the Misericordia Urgent Eye Care Clinic at 204-774-6581, if you have eye issues and are feeling sick, have traveled outside the province or country in the last 14 days, have been with a person who has or for afterhours eye care. You must call us to reschedule any appointments you have made with us, if you are feeling sick.


nv store front image

nv is open for regular eye care at 698 Corydon Ave in Winnipeg, Canada

Eye Care Advice

We are here for your eye care needs during these difficult times. Do not hesitate to call or email us at nv eye care & eye wear, if you have any questions. For more answers to your vision health questions, please contact me, Dr. Nadine Shelton at nv eye care eye wear, 204-504-6863 or

Nadine Shelton

Dr. Nadine Shelton, optometrist and owner of nv

The Owner

Dr. Nadine Shelton B.Sc, O.D. studied at University of Winnipeg, Canada and Indiana University, USA. She has worked abroad in Guanajuato, Mexico assisting outreach patient eye care with VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity). Her university days focused on early child eye care and low vision. Dr. Shelton has been practicing optometry for thirteen years in Winnipeg and has celebrated three years in her own practice with her partner Victor Lopes in the heart of the Corydon Village called nv. nv is a full service optical where eye exams are available and a great selection of unique to the city eye wear can be found.  Learn more at, call us at (204) 504-6863 or come see us at 100-698 Corydon Ave in Winnipeg, Canada.