Most people find it fun to drive during the night as compared to daytime because at night there are few vehicles on the road. However, driving at night is more challenging and dangerous than daytime driving. But when driving at night you should be more vigilant.
According to a study with the National Safety Council in New York, traffic-related accidents are three times greater at night as compared to daytime. Though some circumstances force us to drive at night, it’s never fun to go driving at night.
Even as a driver with years of experience, below are 12 points to consider when driving at night.
1. Don’t Stare at Approaching Lights
Bright headlights of an oncoming vehicle may disrupt your concentration during the night. Keep away from looking at the bright lights of the vehicle heading towards you. Eyes are sensitive to bright lights.
2. Drive at Low Speed
Reduce your speed when driving in the dark even if you are an experienced driver with many years of experience. Slow down especially during rainy conditions because one cannot clearly see the road.
Slow down even if there is no vehicle in front or behind your vehicle. Many road accidents occur as a result of high speeding.
3. Keep Your Mirrors, Windows and Lights Clean
Check your mirrors, windows, and lights if they are clean before you start your night drive. Dirty mirrors, windows, and lights will decrease your visibility on the road. Clean them thoroughly before you leave or make a stopover at your petrol station and get them cleaned.
Keeping them clean will increase your glare at night.
4. Use Your Headlights
Make use of your headlights even if the road is well lit by the street lights. The streetlights may mislead you not to use your headlights because you can still see clearly without them.
Be sure to lower headlights when there is a vehicle approaching on your way. The headlights also help you to be seen by an oncoming vehicle and in return helps you to see an oncoming vehicle.
5. Look Out For Reckless Drivers
During the night, there is a higher possibility of encountering reckless drivers as compared to the daytime. When you spot a reckless driver, try to avoid the vehicle no matter what, by keeping your distance or changing your lane from time to time.
6. Study the Road Signs
Look out for road signs on roadsides that may be warning you of traffic ahead. Also, observe how the vehicles in front are moving in order to alert of hazards or bends.
7. Don’t Drive When Feeling Tired
If you are planning to have a night drive, take enough rest during the day. You can also schedule a break after every one and a half hours of drive for rest.
Take with you some snacks and energy drinks to help you boost your energy.
8. Don’t Drink and Drive
Driving while intoxicated is a crime in New York State. Driving while drunk puts you at risk of getting into an accident and putting other drivers at risk.
Penalties for alcohol-related violations in New York State include possible jail terms, fines, and loss of driving license.
Driving while drunk at night is dangerous as one cannot sound decisions or even make a quick stop in case of an emergency.
Don’t drink and drive! Wait until you sober up.
9. Avoid Wrong Glasses
Irrespective of whether your glasses are just for fun or prescription purposes, make sure they can clearly see the road.
Don’t wear tinted or dark lenses while driving at night because they tend not to see clearly.
10. Know When to Use High Beams
During the night, use the high beam especially if you are driving on an open road. When you see an oncoming vehicle, dim them and wait until they pass before you put them high again.
11. Check Your Car Before Leaving
It would be embarrassing and dangerous to watch your car break down in the middle of the road at night.
Before embarking on your night drive, you can take your vehicle to a mechanic to check your engine and the headlights.
When you were taking your driving lessons, you may have learned some car maintenance practices that you can do by yourself without necessarily having to take your car to a mechanic.
12. Apply Defensive Driving
They have experienced and professional instructors to teach you defensive driving strategies for a smooth drive at night on New York roads when you get behind that wheel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I take my defensive driving classes in New York?
Do I really need to visit the repair shop to change the engine oil?
No, you don’t need to visit your repair shop every time to change your engine oil. In fact, changing your engine oil is one of the DIY car maintenance practices that you need to know. Knowing this can save you money because you don’t have to pay your repair shop for this.
It is wise to keep off the road at night and wait till morning to have your drive. However, sometimes emergencies do happen at night and we are left with no option but to take that night drive.
In case you decide to take that night drive, put in mind the above 12 points for a safe and smooth night drive. Remember it only takes you a second to cause havoc on the road.