Driving at night isn’t fun, but you are left with no option but to get behind the wheel in some circumstances.
With the National Safety Council reports showing that more driving-related fatalities occur at night, driving becomes scary.
If you have gathered the courage to drive at night, don’t ignore the danger that comes with it. Remember that there are still reckless drivers out there.
Keep reading to find some tips for driving at night that will make your night driving safer.
1. Slow Down
Slowing down in the dark is an obvious thing you should do when driving at night, especially if you are a new driver.
According to NHTSA, most collisions occur when speeding at night due to decreased visibility and short reaction time.
When approaching, headlights start lowering your speed at a far distance to increase visibility.
It will cost you nothing to lower your speed; you will experience smoother driving at night.
2. Avoid Wrong Glasses
Whether the glasses you have are a prescription or for fun, they may cause reflection on the road.
When choosing glasses, settle for those with an anti-reflective coating on the lenses; they will eliminate additional light that may pass through.
Additionally, don’t purchase yellow tint glasses and expect to use them at night; they may turn out to be dangerous.
Although some companies say the tint improves contrast, they dispatch light preventing you from differentiating objects and exposing you to road hazards.
3. Clean the Windshield and Headlights
Before you start your road trip, check the condition of your windshield and headlights and clean them. These parts get dirty very fast and need regular cleaning.
If you assume that the windshield is clean, soon there will be grime building up preventing you from seeing the road.
Dirty headlights will shine at low light and can’t show what’s ahead on the road at night.
The best part is the cleaning materials are available at your nearest filling station to clean your windscreen. Your windows need to be kept clean too.
Avoid touching the inner side of the windshield with your hands and use a microfiber cloth or a newspaper to clean it.
4. Avoid Staring at Approaching Lights
Oncoming bright lights can highly disrupt your concentration at night. Your eyes react to bright light since they are used to low light inside the car.
When a car with bright headlights is approaching, don’t look at it directly. If there are bright road signs, avoid gazing at them.
If the car approaching from behind has bright headlights, consider moving your rearview mirror, which will reflect the high beams backward reflecting it from your eyes.
If you plan to purchase a new car, consider one with an adaptive lighting system that will automatically adjust the beams.
5. Look Out for Intoxicated Drivers
When driving at night, you are likely to meet more impaired drivers. The possibility is even higher during weekends and midnight hours.
When driving behind another car at night, you should keep a reasonable distance; you can never tell what the drivers ahead and behind you are up to. The distance should be at least 4 seconds or more.
Observing the speed and the lane position of another car can help you identify an intoxicated driver.
If the car keeps changing lanes now and then, it could signify the driver is intoxicated.
An additional sign of an impaired driver is braking at spotlights for no reason. If such happens, increase the following space for a safer ride. it will greatly help if you have mastered tips for driving at night
6. Maintain your Car
I am sure you wouldn’t want to find yourself with a car breaking down in the middle of the night; it’s both scary and dangerous.
Before heading on your trip, take your car to your mechanic to check. implement some of the DIY maintenance practices like changing the oil and checking the battery at home.
Ensure that your mechanic checks the headlights and see if they are well aligned for the ride.
When you are at your mechanic’s, test them to ensure they function well in both low and high beams.
7. Take Enough Rest
Before heading on your journey at night, rest enough to avoid getting tired in the middle of the ride.
You have more chances of feeling sleepy at night since the brain produces a lot of melatonin that induces sleep.
If possible, spend some hours sleeping during the day to avoid too much sleep accumulating in your eyes.
Driving after staying awake for 18 hours isn’t different from driving under alcohol influence with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%, which approaches the illegal BAC of 0.08%.
If, at some point when driving, you feel you are too tired to continue with the journey, get a place to rest, and continue with the journey the following day.
8. Practice Defensive Driving
If you have been to a driving class, defensive driving is not a new term. After finishing your driving lessons enroll in the 6-hour class for a better experience and learn some tips for driving at night.
Here you will learn more strategies to help you avoid any potential accidents, such as keeping a reasonable following distance and driving in the rain.
You need to be extra careful and execute your skills properly to avoid hitting pedestrians or animals at night.
When driving at night in a dimly lit street, you should minimize lane changing to avoid collisions from approaching cars.
9. Prepare for Emergency
Emergencies will happen even with the best-maintained car with an experienced driver.
You may experience a flat tire or another breakdown; that’s why it’s wise to have a pack of emergency supplies in your car.
Apart from the jumper cables, a first aid kit, a car jerk, among others, you should include personal care items such as nonperishable food and a charger for your phone.
Planning your trip earlier will save you the trouble of forgetting some essential items and avoiding some emergencies.
When driving at night, you should consider the above tips for driving at night for a smoother trip; however, it’s wise to keep off the road till morning if you have eye problems at night. If you haven’t taken your defensive driving course, spare your six hours and learn. We have the best instructors to take you through the course at Pierre Paul driving school.