A lot of motorists complain about driving at night with low visibility, difficult to see road users and difficulty in judging speed and distance and explains dangerous facts regarding safety issues. Let’s talk about few basic tips which can help you to drive safely at night. Driving situations are particularly different at night and car accidents are in high rated comparing to daylight. Association For Safe International Road Travel statistics shows that almost 1.3 million people die annually in road crashes and over 40 percent of all car accidents occur during the hours of darkness.
20 Tips on Driving Safe in the Dark
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that nearly half of all traffic-related fatalities occur in the dark, despite only 25% of traffic traveling during darkness. However, a lot of motorists feel less confident to drive at these hours despite not having night blindness problem. Here are 20 simple tips on driving safe in the dark.
Clean and Adjust Your Headlamps
The headlamp as we also called headlight is one of the important parts in a vehicle. It is most commonly used in dark or bad weather. Driving safely at night, you must need a clear beam out of your headlights. Weather change, dirt, and moisture can easily make your headlamps fuzzy and may hamper the light beam at night. So First of all, you need to clean your headlamps and adjust the headlights if possible. Here are few steps to adjust headlights.
Turn on Your Headlights
Make sure to turn on your headlights after sunset and make it a habit. In U.S. you must turn off your headlights after sunset and bad weather for your safety. So before you drive at dark, you must turn on your headlights.
Concentrate on Your Headlights
Dim Your Dashboard Lights
For a clear night vision, while driving at dark, you better dim your lights inside the car especially your dashboard and map lights. Having your dash light on max and map lights on can compromise the forward vision. You should dim your interior lights and focused on driving.
Don’t Stare at Oncoming Lights
An oncoming car with bright lights on can be dangerous for opposite drivers. If you stare at the oncoming lights can make you blindfolded and you can easily lose control over the driving. Never gaze or stare at the oncoming lights at night.
Make Use of Sun Visor
Using car sun visor at night can also help you to drive safely at night. Lights coming from the oncoming car and other lights can be dangerous sometimes for your eyes while driving. If you use the sun visor, it might protect you from getting blindfold or disrupted from bright lights.
Spot the Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Animals
Roads are not only meant for the drivers only. There are pedestrians, cyclists or animals on the roads and if you collide to any of them, you might end up an accident or injury. The best way to spot them is to try retina method. You might be able to spot their eyes at night because the light reflects their eyes from far away before they appear at front of your car. Cyclists use a red flashing light at the back which can also be spotted easily.
Clean Your Windshield
Apparently, a clean windshield will give you clear visibility at night. Windshield with birds poop, dead bugs, and general grime entails cleaning properly from outside. Besides, the dust, oils and/or smoker’s residue over times can impair visibility, especially at night. So you should clean your windshield from both sides-inside and outside. you can also take a look at our article on windshield care HERE.
Follow the Road Lane
The easy way of driving at night safely is to follow the right side edge road line to avoid driving off road. In many areas, you would probably find nothing but trees and bushes. Following other cars behind could be much easier but if you drive alone and don’t see any other cars, you better follow the road lane in case of any other car comes from the opposite directions out of nowhere.
Turn on Your Fog Lights
Fog lights are basically used to focus on the ground rather than the road ahead. Regular headlights can reflect the fog back into your eyes and impair the visibility where fog lights have a wide beam to reduce glare and help to see you better at night or in dense fog. If you have difficulty to drive at night, you may use the fog lights to concentrate on the roads better.
Clean and Adjust Wing Mirror
Apparently, all the mirrors can reflect the lights backward to the driver’s eyes and create an uncomfortable situation. So as your wing mirror called side mirror should be clean from dust, grime and/or dripping water. Moreover, you should adjust the wing mirrors slightly downward so that you can see cars behind you by tipping your head slightly forward. That way, you can keep the other car’s headlights out of your sights.
Adjust your rear mirror
Things could be small but the impact could be huge. Have you ever noticed while driving a car at night and the car following right behind you that the beam coming from that car is felt so annoying? The best way to keep away from it, you just have to adjust the rear mirror in your car slightly upward or downward.
Keep a safe distance
Driving at night is dangerous and fun at the same time. Drunkards and racers are fond of driving at night recklessly which can be very risky and life threatening. So you better keep a safe distance from your car ahead and follow the roads as it appears to be clear.
Check your eyes regularly
Driving at night could reduce the eye fatigue and in a longer period, it could lead you to fatal eyes problem while concentrating on one area. Instead of being focused on the specific area, the doctor suggests to move around your eyes and keep blink often to clear the vision. You should check your eyes and consult your GP regularly to keep your eyes healthy.
Don’t drive intoxicated
It is illegal to drink and drive in the USA. Drivers who have been intoxicated and tried to drive especially at night happened to occur more accidents than others. So never drive intoxicated unless you are under the limit and feel normal to drive.
Add Supplementary Lights
If you need more supplementary lights at night to drive especially in rural areas or off road, you may add inexpensive auxiliary lights to light up the night. But you must be very careful while putting it on. Because it might the supplementary lights for your high beam and could be illegal in your state. You better check the legality of the lights before you put them on.
Drive Slow with Hazard lights On
While driving in some heavy rain or dense fog or even at night when the headlights are not enough, you better drive slowly with the hazard lights on. Sometimes, you may find other cars are driving slowly and rushing into a single lane; you better follow the pace with them and drive slow. Because it might be an accident or road works ahead.
Use High-Low Beam
Every state has some basic rules on using high-low beam at dark. Normally, you would be able to see 200feet ahead with a low beam. If you are driving ahead or alone with no oncoming headlights, you may use the high beam for a clear view. You should use low beam while another car is coming from your opposite direction and it is almost 300 feet ahead. You may flash the lights to aware the other car in case the driver forgets to turn the high beam off. In case of heavy rain, bad weather, fog and/or snow, you better use the low beam to get the reflection back to you.
Be familiar with the routes
Driving on a familiar route will most likely help you drive better at night. Because you will know the bend or curved long before it appears to you. So it is much safer to drive at night when you know the roads and drive regularly.
Drowsy driving may cause serious accident or injury while you are off the road. Most of the time, you may feel dizzy or fussy while driving at night after a tiring working day. To avoid unexpected errors while driving, the foremost task is to stay alert while driving. If you feel sleepy or too tired or drowsy, it’s been suggested to take a rest and drive when you are comfortable.
Driving exhausted tired or fatigue is more likely putting you at risk when driving at night. Low visibility, color variations, lighting effects and bad weather condition makes driving at night dangerous. Whether you do follow the tips we mention, but at least try to drive carefully by your instinct. More or less, following the driving rules will definitely make your ride safer on road.