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Discussion Starter #1
I'm 25 and with contacts in I have pretty darn good vision. I have no trouble seeing with sunglasses or with my visor-tinted or clear-on during the day.
Everything changes however at night when there is oncoming traffic. Their headlights seem to take over my clear helmet visor or clear glasses (depending which I'm wearing) and I can't figure out why. It is pretty crippling and greatly affects how far I can see in front of me-the lights literally just spread and take over. It is dangerous in my opinion. I have raised my visor at night when it's been so blinding and can see FAR better just using my eyes-but clearly I can't do that for long for risk of a bug or something hitting me in my eye.

Why is this happening?
What can I do to negate the effects of oncoming headlights?
 

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Not a whole lot you can do about except make sure to look a little to the right of your lane so you can still see where you're going but the light doesn't enter your pupils directly from the source. Are you sitting down low on a cruiser? I never had this problem on my Ninja, but it happens all the time in my car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I ride a 2007 GSXR 600.

I can't imagine this is normal-It's so debilitating that I can't imagine anyone SANE riding under my conditions. Again-It is pretty dangerous and I'm a pretty risky guy. Does EVERYONE experience this?
 

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Get some night driving glasses, they have a light yellow tint. I wear mine every morning and they really cut the glare. Everyone's vision is different so you might want to check with you optometrist for some other recommendations.

Don't look straight into the on coming cars headlights. I normally focus on the fog line (white line on right side of road) and let my peripheral vision pickup the roadway.

If you are losing sight of the road then that becomes very dangerous. Another technique I have developed since I commute every morning before dawn is to follow another car at a safe distance, that gives me some protection from deer, cattle and crap in the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't want to say I lose sight of the road, but it seems I can only see 30 feet in front of me. And no-I don't look at the lights and avoid them as much as possible.

I actually did buy some yellow-tinted glasses for night riding. I've found that headlights spiderweb even WORSE with these and my vision is even more impaired.

Maybe I have something wrong with my eyes. Just gauging how much this affects other riders.
 

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I would definitely talk to your optometrist, that just doesn't sound right. Thirty feet just isn't enough forward vision.

Hope you can get it worked out, that must be really frustrating and scary. Personally if I had that problem, I wouldn't ride at night.
 

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Headlights coming at you will temporarily blind you in that part of your eye exposed to the bright light. I tend to look at the right side of the road while I pass a car while using my peripheral vision to keep track of them and then return my focus to the road ahead. If a bit of my peripheral vision is blinded it is not nearly the impact of having my main focal area blinded. There is nothing an optometrist can do do prevent sensory overload in a part of your vision.
 

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One of the thing the military taught me was to close one eye when you get a blinding light at night. Once the light is gone you regain your night vision. I have used that technique in the past and it does seem to work.
 

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The folks who don't suffer from this really don't have a clue how bad it is. I'm pretty sure now my mom had it as she HATED how I drove but always made me drive at night.

I've absolutely minimized the amount of night driving I do and I also do the one eyed trick.

Here's an existing thread on this topic:

http://www.motorcycleforum.com/showthread.php?t=132225
 

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A trip to the optometrist would be a wise thing to do. You could very well have an issue with light sensitivity. He/she may be able to help you with that. Do you own glasses? Try riding with the glasses on instead of the contacts and see if there is any change. I have to have the anti glare on my glasses or I'll be riding blind as a bat at night.
 

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Make sure your visor is clean and scratch free. I would bet you have scratches on it that are multiplying the light because of more surface area on the visor. They barely have to be visible when you hold it up right in front of your face. From my flying days, I always found that cleaning them top to bottom instead of side to side made them easier to see through at night. I also use a polymer polish after cleaning, that helps to fill in the microscratches.

If that isn't the problem, there is a coating that can be put on glasses to reduce glare, my wife has it on hers because lights all turn to stars on her at night. She says it really works.
 

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It could be your contacts, talk to your doctor about this
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all of the comments-this was my first ever post and appreciate the discussion.

I rode last night and made it a point to clean my shield. It made a SIGNIFICANT difference. I also read dirty contacts have the same effect as a dirty shield. Because I wear long-lasting contacts and don't take them out for weeks at a time this could be affecting me as well. Because of the improvement after I cleaned my shield I would expect as much. Thanks again!

Also-All you guys talking about old age-cut it out! I'm 25!
 

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You need polarized glasses
Polarized glasses are great. But not at night, as polarized glasses are sunglasses which reduce the amount of light by 50%.

You can try night glasses, they are slightly yellow, blocking some of the bluish light from bright headlights. Otherwise, I don't think there's a lot you can do. In the dark, your pupils open up to the max so you can see at least something in the dark, but it also lets in too much of the light of oncoming headlights. It's something some people have. My eyes have gotten more sensitive to headlights in the dark as I get older. What doesn't help is that more and more cars and bikes have halogen and xenon, which is more blinding than the old fashioned bulbs.
 

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In addition, modern cars have smaller headlights. As the total brightness remains the same, the surface brightness is higher. It's the surface brightness that causes blinding, more than the total brightness. Surface brightness goes with the radius of the headlight squared, so a headlight that's half the diameter, gives you a surface brightness that's four times higher, which means it is four times more blinding.
 

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And these new "bright white" headlamps with the blue tint are just devastating to your night vision! I wish the would outlaw them!!! Sure, it gives the driver better night vision but at the expense of everyone else on the road.
 

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They also seldom have them adjusted properly as well. When I left Texas in 71 the safety inspection also included whether or not the headlights were aimed properly. Back in Texas in 91 and now all they do is check if they work. Who cares if they are aimed properly? Now you got people replacing their old light for the new brighter light and never once check where they are aimed. GREAT!
 
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