So you’re driving late at night and are having a hard time of it. The tip you picked up about reducing glare from oncoming traffic doesn’t help and only makes it harder to see, and you’re losing your battle against fatigue and drowsiness despite some “helpful” advice from a friend. What exactly were these useless words of wisdom? Read on to learn about these three car misconceptions about night driving.
Yellow Tinted or Yellow Polarized Glasses Improve Your Night Vision
Do an online search for night driving glasses and lots of sponsored ads appear showing yellow tinted or yellow polarized night glasses. They must work if companies are selling them, right? Wrong. While they may help during the day in foggy or hazy conditions, the tint only reduces the amount of light that reaches the eyes. At night your eyes need as much light as possible and anything that reduces it also reduces your night vision.
If you aren’t required to wear glasses when driving, then don’t wear any because even clear glasses slightly reduce the amount of light that goes through them. If you are required to wear corrective glasses, then they should be clear. An anti-reflective coating is also recommended.
You Can Stay Awake by Opening the Windows and Turning Up the Radio
You can roll the windows down, turn the radio up, blast the air conditioner, pinch your arm, and slap your face, but these tricks won’t get you through a long night drive. These gimmicks are useful for buying some time to get yourself to the nearest place to pull over safely. However, they work only for the short-term.
With enough fatigue and sleep deprivation, you can fall asleep while drinking a cup of coffee or even standing up. People have even fallen asleep while running on a treadmill. The only true antidote to falling asleep is getting plenty of sleep. However, if you aren’t sleep deprived but the tedium is making you a bit drowsy, go to a rest stop and have a coffee break.
You Can Skip Sleeping at Night by Sleeping the Day Before
While this certainly helps, it doesn’t change the body’s natural sleep/wake cycle. The body releases melatonin during the night hours. This hormone prepares the body for sleep. This happens automatically whether or not you sleep during the day. In addition, your quality of sleep is reduced during the day. This means your alertness won’t last the entire night.
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