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Driving at night – Alcohol affects your night vision


Date: 14/04/2015
Source: Brigitte Woman (D)

As a rule, a glass of bubbly or a small beer will not leave you over the drink-driving limit. But if you are driving home after dark you could be well advised to keep off alcohol altogether. A study by the University of Granada has proved that even small amounts of alcohol can impair your night vision. Spanish researchers asked their test subjects to drink some wine and later tested their eye sight. It transpired that alcohol interferes with one’s contrast vision and increases the eyes’ sensitivity to bright lights. This means that drivers who have had a drink are more likely to be dazzled by oncoming headlights and will only see pedestrians or cyclists at the edge of their visual field at the last minute or when it is too late.
One possible cause is that alcohol brings about a change in the tear fluid. If some of this film dries out or ruptures, it impedes the proper functioning of the eye. In addition, people who are over 50 are subject to the beginnings of opacity or cloudy vision (early stage of a cataract) which aggravates the dazzling effect on one’s eyes. If you bring the consumption of alcohol into the equation, then you could be heading for trouble.