If you are an older driver, what can you do to keep yourself and loved ones safe on the road at night? First, assess your ability to drive safely. Also take these steps: Make sure you visit an eye care professional at least once every two years, or even more frequently if you have a significant eye condition or visual complaint. Tell your eye doctor about any problems you experience on the road at night so that you can undergo specialized testing, such as evaluation of your visual field or contrast sensitivity.
If you have diabetes, get your eyes examined at least once yearly, and closely follow your doctor's recommendations regarding diet, blood sugar control, insulin and self-care to reduce the risks of diabetic retinopathy, which can progress to severe vision loss without warning. Seek immediate care when you detect symptoms of sight-threatening eye diseases. Remember that many symptoms of eye problems appear late in the disease process, so your urgent response is extremely important.
Minimize the risks of driving at night as you get older by planning your trips before you leave home. Drive only on streets you know, and avoid dark, unlighted roadways. Limit your trips to places you can easily reach and that are close to home. Avoid risky spots like ramps and left turns.
Plan for extra driving time if conditions are bad, and don't drive if you are stressed or tired. Stay focused on driving only, avoiding distractions.