Driving at night is without a doubt dangerous. It poses more challenges and increases the risk of accidents, deaths and injuries. Whether or not you have a problem with vision, it is extremely important to drive with precaution when you’re on the road when it’s dark.
Why? At night, people have decreased visibility making it difficult to judge speed and distance. However, practicing responsible and safe driving can help you avoid the dangers associated with night driving.
How to practice safe driving at night?
Keep reading and learn about some important tips to consider for safe driving at night.
Use your headlights and aim them correctly
Make it a habit to turn your headlights on an hour before dusk. This way, the road will be more visible as the sun sets. It also makes you more visible to other drivers. However, you may need to use your headlights regardless of the time of day under severe weather conditions when the skies are dark and road visibility is poor.
Also, it is equally important to make sure your lights are aimed correctly. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions. Follow the recommendations in the manual so you can set your headlights properly and avoid blinding oncoming traffic.
Keep a safe distance
Following the vehicle in front of you too closely is discouraged when driving at night or when the weather is bad. Besides making other drivers uncomfortable or anxious about the close proximity, your headlights can seem brighter, becoming a distraction to others. Be sure to always maintain an appropriate following distance to avoid potential problems and accidents, especially during the night.
Always be alert and keep your eyes moving
Increasing alertness is important when driving at night. Be mindful of the movements around you and pay attention to your mirrors. Keep an eye out for people suddenly crossing the street, animals on the side of the road or other cars without headlights. Always be aware of what’s happening around you. Avoid distractions as much as possible. Have your side mirrors set in a position that makes it easy for you to see vehicles coming from behind.
Dim your dashboard lights and instrument panel
Dashboard dimmer switches are there for a reason. When your dash lights are too bright, they can cause an unnecessary distraction. They can affect your vision and may lead to an accident. Make it a habit to dim your dash lights so that the reflections on the windshields will disappear. It will also improve nighttime visibility because it helps your eyes adjust to the darkness.
Avoid staring at oncoming lights
Because your eyes are used to the dim lights inside the car at night, it helps to avoid staring at the lights of oncoming vehicles. Otherwise, it is easy for you to get distracted. Avoid looking at oncoming bright beams and turn your gaze back to the road.
Wipe your windshields with a newspaper
Most windshields appear clear at daytime but may have streaks that cause glare at night. Keep your windshields clean and remove residue by polishing it with a newspaper. Don’t wipe off mist with your bare hands or it will leave oil. It is also a good idea to have microfiber or cotton cloth handy.
Keep the headlights clean
Besides your windshields, your headlights must also be kept clean to ensure safe night driving. Also, do not make the mistake of driving with only one light working. Not only does it affect your visibility but the remaining light might burn out in the middle of driving, leaving you with no working headlights at all. Don’t risk your safety and ensure both headlights are working at all times.
Don’t drive when you’re sleepy
Many drivers prefer to travel at night, especially when it comes to long hauls on the road. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to avoid traffic, it’s better to be well prepared if you prefer to drive at night. Make sure your body is well rested and you’ve gotten plenty of sleep before hitting the road. Better yet, leave as early as possible instead of driving for several hours at night.
Driving at night may be dangerous but these safe driving tips should help you stay safe on the road. By using this guide, you can become a better driver and have the confidence to sit behind the wheel even when it’s dark.
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