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  • Posted December 24, 2018

Do senior drivers have it right? Is it safer to drive when the sun is still up?


Most senior drivers tend to avoid driving during the rush hour and try to return home before it gets dark. Whatcom County crash statistics show they might be making the safer choice.PAUL EMBERGER / AAA COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

QUESTION: As seniors we avoid rush hour driving whether it’s early morning or after four in the afternoon. We rarely drive at night. We believe we are safer on the road mid-day 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Is our assessment and decision based on reality as far as safety and crashes?

ANSWER: When it comes to driving, getting older generally works against you. However, this question demonstrates one area where that’s not true: Wisdom.

When I was 16, I don’t ever remember wondering about the safest time to drive. As we get older (and hopefully smarter) we start asking questions like this one.

So let’s begin the quest to find the safest time to drive.

One of the first driving habits that older drivers often give up is night driving. Usually it’s because it gets more difficult to see as we get older.

Back in middle school I remember learning about the rods and cones in our eyes. Or more accurately, I remember dissecting a pig eyeball and hearing the teacher mention something about rods and cones. We need cones to see color and detail, and we need rods for night vision.