Top Tips on Driving at Night
Night driving is dangerous and dreadful. The National Safety Council reports that road fatalities increase three times at night than during the day.
The main risk for night driving is limited vision at night. You can only see part of the road and thus less time to react. Other motorists can also have their full lives on, thus blinding you in the process.
Driving at night is inevitable. As a driver, you will definitely find yourself on the road at night, stopping for the next day, not an option. This article has put together some of the best ways to keep safe while driving at night.
Using the tips helps your case in case of auto insurance claims.
The tips are:
(1) Combat fatigue
Driving when fatigued is one of the causes of road accidents. Driving at night comes with even higher chances of being tired. You are most likely driving after staying awake throughout; thus, can fall asleep at any time.
Most night accidents tend to happen between midnight and 6 am. These are the times when most drivers fall asleep. Stay awake by taking caffeine or pulling over to take some rest. You can also consider turning on the radio, though not too loud. Rolling down the windows or belting out some tunes for yourself can also do the trick.
(2) Slow down
The low visibility and reduced reaction time in night driving is a leading concern. High-speed crashes account for over 35% of night accidents. This is higher compared with the 21% during the daylight hours.
Stay safe at night by reducing the speeds depending on the visibility. You can easily miss out on your auto insurance if you drive dangerously at night.
Tailgating is also not the best option for night driving. Keep a safe distance from the car in front to allow for reaction space. The distance between the cars should be such that you can stop within the illuminated area.
You can also use the 3-second rule to determine distance. Let the vehicle pass a landmark, then count 3 seconds before you reach the same place. Anything below 3 seconds, you should slow down.
(3) Angle your headlights correctly
Proper setting of the headlights is a concern for most drivers. The positioning of the headlights is an issue in most cars, even the brand-new ones. You can find them pointed unevenly or lower than usual.
Take time to aim the headlights correctly before starting the night travel. You can take up the procedure by yourself using the owner’s manual. It is a challenging process that requires time. Otherwise, you can also hire a professional to tune them for you.
Angling the headlights correctly helps in avoiding blinding other motorists. This reduces their chances of mistakes that can impact you.
Also, ensure nothing is dimming your lights. Clean your headlights periodically with attention on the plastic lens cover.
(4) Keep distractions to a minimal
Distractions are not any good for both day and night driving. However, night driving requires more focus. Turn down the radio and keep away your phone. It is also best if you alert your passengers to help you navigate the road. They can help to spot other things you could have missed as you concentrate on the road.
The car dashboard can also be a distraction during night travel. That is why they come with a dimmer switch. The bright dashboard lights and the infotainment screen in modern vehicles are distracting. Dim these lights to avoid reflections on the dashboard. You then remain with a clear view.
(5) Wear the right glasses
Wearing glasses means an additional reflective surface between your eye and the road. The type of glass you wear determines the visibility. The first option to stay safe is only to wear glasses if necessary. The next is on choosing the glasses. Go for the prescription lenses that come with anti-reflective coating.
Avoid night vision glasses. Some glass making companies are advertising the yellow-tint sunglasses with a claim of improving drivers’ night vision. When in reality, they do the opposite. The added color on the glasses reduced the light that passes through. It becomes harder to distinguish objects on the road. This increases the chances of accidents.
(6) Watch out for animals
Driving at night means staying aware of the presence of the various nocturnal animals. Hitting animals like deer and moose are fatal and can also cause serious damage. With the low reaction speeds driving at night, avoiding these animals takes skills.
Look out for the reflection of the animals catching your high beam headlights. They often appear down the road hence more time to react.
When you spot an animal, the best option is to stop. Do not exit your lane or drive off the road. Swerving increases the chances of an accident. The deer tends to follow your headlights and would move at the same time as your changing lanes.
(7) Clean your windshield
Driving during the day is as easy, even with a little smug on the windscreen. This is different from night driving that needs a clear windshield.
The best way to clean a windshield is to polish the glass using a newspaper. In the process, avoid touching the glass surfaces using bare hands. The oil from your skin can tamper with the surface. It then creates a reflective surface on the mirrors.
Only use paper, cotton, or a microfiber cloth when cleaning the windshield and the side mirrors.
(8) Keep your eyes healthy
All the other tips would be useless if you don’t have the right eyesight. Your eyes can become fatigued after some time of night driving, which is risky. Keep the eye active by moving them around in all the fields of view. Focusing on a single area for a long-time lead to fatigue.
Go for regular eye check-ups to ascertain the state of your eyes. An ideal period is every three years for those below 40 years. Above 60 years can do with every two years.
Driving at night can be fun, as there is no traffic to deal with. It can also be challenging with low vision and less reaction time. Use these tips to ensure safe night driving.
(This article is written by Duliban Insurance Brokers Ltd., Canada)