Saturday, December 19, 2015

Night Driving

The glare of oncoming headlights


This evening Bill wanted me to take him for a drive to see the Christmas light decorations in our neighborhood. As I was driving through our neighboring development, I almost missed the exit.  I couldn't see! 

Folks, I have come to the realization that I can't drive at night anymore.  I can't see.  Unless the street is clearly lit, which in this neighborhood it wasn't,  I. CANNOT. SEE.  

For several years know I know I've been having a problem with the glare of oncoming headlights when driving at night. This I attribute to my slowly but surely oncoming cataracts.  My eye doctor every year informs me that I'm only a few years away from THAT operation.  This year he said "You have some time yet but they ARE there and will grow."  Thanks doc.

It was only a few years ago that I used to drive the ten miles one way to Rehoboth Beach down Route One (our main artery here in LSD) to meet friends for a festive dinner gathering at the Purple Parrot.  No more folks. Those days are past.  Not only because several of my friends have died passed on but because I wouldn't chance driving on Route One with all those glaring headlights.

I do drive home in the dark from my evening shift twice a week at the hotel but the traffic is light and I know the route.  But any other times, I fear I'm going that Old Person League and restricting myself to not driving at night. 

As Bette Davis said:

"Getting old isn't for sissies." Tell me about it.




12 comments:

  1. The missus is not at all happy with night driving anymore and I'm not far behind. I remember when my father quit doing it, too.

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    1. Jono,
      This problem has been creeping up on me for a few years now. Tonight was the clincher because I was just driving through two adjoining developments next to ours. I had a very difficult time seeing where I was going and I definitely did not feel safe driving. Now I can add no more nigh driving with no more running.
      Ron

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  2. Alas, that time comes to all of us, if we are fortunate to live long enough. Better safe to drive in the daylight anyway.

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      I rarely have a reason to go out at night anyway. The one activity I will miss is our bi-weekly visit to our favorite family restaurant in Milton. Last time we were there and I had to drive home in the dark, I felt like I was driving blind. Thank goodness the days start getting longer next week.
      Ron

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  3. Yes, I'm noticing myself the skittles going down one by one. I know desperation is settling in when find myself hoping that it'll be better 'next time around'!

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    1. Ray,
      Same here Ray, "the skittles are going down one by one." By the way, did you see the movie "Tangerine"? I saw it last night and I was quite impressed. Especially since it was made on the fly with only an iPhone camera. Usually I don't care for those kinds of films but this one was surprisingly good. I would be interested to hear your analysis of this movie.
      Ron

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  4. Night blindness (as it's sometimes called) isn't only an old-age affliction. I've had it for years. That's why I went over the cliff when driving on that rainy night in Arkansas (remember that incident??).
    Much like you, I can only see at night when things are very well-lighted. I avoid night driving whenever possible.

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    1. Jon,
      I have "it" (night blindness") big time now. Hard to believe that years ago I would drive at night and have no problem, even where there weren't many lights. Now I am literally driving blind. I too avoid night driving whenever possible.
      Ron

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  5. Fixable? My father has had both eyes done and is able to do things again that he had not done for a few years.

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    1. David,
      I don't know. I think the glare problem can be fixed with cataract surgery but I think the "night blindness" is another whole problem. Not fixable.
      Ron

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  6. Ron,

    Get the cataracts done. It'll be like getting new eyes. Alas, eventually your eyes will age again gradually, but you'll get several years of really seeing anew, so it is worth it. Mine are now beginning to slide over to the night blindness thing again. Not too bad again yet, except when it rains and then ...yipes! The thing that scares me driving at night anymore are those people who go walking out along the roads, walking on the wrong side wearing dark clothes. I guess no one teach how to walk roads with no sidewalks anymore. But they are impossible to see until you are on top of them and I don't want to hit anyone because of their stupidity.

    Lar

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    1. Larry,
      Oh, I'm definitely getting cataract surgery. Right now my eyes can manage but each year I can detect further deterioration. It's just as well I don't drive at night anyway. It's dangerous driving at night, even with perfect vision. I don't need to go out at night anyway except coming home from work.
      Ron

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