Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Daylight Savings Means More Driving In The Dark: Tips To Avoid Motor Vehicle Accidents

Did you know that your 20/20 vision may drop to 20/40 when you’re driving in the dark? That’s because your pupils dilate to try to let in more light, and in so doing, they sacrifice their ability to focus clearly. Night-time driving can be dangerous for many additional reasons, and I had the opportunity to interview two experts about these risks, and how we can reduce our chances of being in harm’s way when we turn our clocks back on November 6th.

Optometrist, Dr. Christina Schneider, Senior Director, Medical Affairs for VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, spoke with me about common nighttime driving problems such as dry eyes, headaches, and eye fatigue – and what to do about them. We also discussed the risks of driving with an under corrected or uncorrected vision problem, and some of the available options and treatments available to improve our night vision

I also spoke with John Ulczycki, Group Vice President – Strategic Initiatives, for the National Safety Council, about safe driving tips. Please listen to the conversation here:

Traffic safety experts report that fatal motor vehicle accidents are three times more common at night. So how can we improve our nighttime driving safety? John’s tips include:

1. Decrease your night-time driving speed. This improves your reaction time under lower-visibility conditions.

2. Check your headlights. It is estimated that 50% of all motor vehicle headlights are not optimally aligned. Potholes and bumps in the road can jolt the lights out of alignment.

3. Keep your eyes moving. Check for pedestrians, stalled vehicles, and other obstacles ahead.

4. Don’t look directly at oncoming headlights. This can temporarily blind you as your eyes adjust to a quick change in lighting conditions.

5. Spend time with your teenager, practicing safe nighttime driving. The per-mile crash rate for teenage drivers triples after 9pm. Experience with driving at night can reduce this rate.

6. Be able to stop within the range of your headlights. This is a good rule of thumb to help you calculate how close you should get to vehicles ahead of you.

7. Pedestrians (and their dogs) should wear reflective strips or tape at night to enhance their visibility.

8. Never talk on a cell-phone or text while driving. Studies show that hands-free cell phone usage does not reduce the risk of cell-phone related accidents. When it comes to safe driving, it’s not so much where your hands are, but where your head is.

For more safety tips, please listen to the full Healthy Vision segment.

*Val Jones, M.D. is a paid consultant for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »