Tips for Safer Night Driving

How to stay safe on the road after dark

There are many things that go bump in the night and these include the sound of vehicles getting into misadventures in the hours of darkness. The folks of the night might disagree but there’s really nothing supernatural about vehicular accidents that occur at night. The night lessens visibility, impairs discernment of distance and speed and the presence of other vehicles. 

Some people find driving at night easier and faster yet some find it more difficult because of the challenges it poses. The dangers of driving during the day are increased after dark and should never be underestimated. Although night-time driving has risks, motorists should never be afraid of being behind the wheel come night. There are simple practices to help make the roads safer for night driving. 

Making sure that a vehicle is in tip-top condition before every trip is one easy way to make the roads safe for everybody regardless of the time of day or night. Here are a few more tips to consider when driving after dark.    

Be visible on the road
Know how to operate headlights and high beams. High beams are for when you need to see further down the road but should only be used in rural areas and when there are no oncoming vehicles. You should always be visible on the road at night, just don’t overdo it. Turn the headlights on but don’t dazzle oncoming drivers by dipping the lights. Keep the lights clean to prevent night vision difficulties. Proper use of lights alerts other drivers of your presence thus preventing collisions.  

Maintain proper lighting conditions inside and outside 
You can’t control reduced or bad street, or road lighting but you can maintain proper lighting inside and outside your vehicle. Keep your windows clear and squeaky clean. Dirty windscreens intensify the glare from other vehicles and can facilitate condensation inside the vehicle. Think fogged eye glasses and blurry vision when sipping from a piping hot bowl of soup. Dimmed dashboard lights reduce confusing reflections which results to better night vision. Spotless interior and exterior lights help provide excellent night vision for motorists.  

Have regular eye check-ups
Most people with eye problems have bad night vision. Conditions such as nearsightedness, cataracts and vitamin deficiencies may cause night vision loss. Make sure to get your eyes checked regularly, especially if you drive at night regularly. It’s important that you can clearly see other vehicles and pedestrians. Only eye doctors can decide if you are fit for night driving or not. Prescription lenses should be up to date but wearing dark or tinted lenses should be avoided when driving at night. 

Allow more time for the trip
Worrying less or not worrying at all gets rid of pressure when driving. How to not be pressured by time? Plan the trip ahead and leave early. In this way, less energy can be spent and time on the road can become relaxing. Drivers who are less stressed about getting to their destinations are less likely to be involved in road-related accidents. Having more time also means one can take driving breaks to recharge especially when driving overnight.    

Your safety on the road relies on your own mindfulness. Practicing safe driving regardless of the time of day is a great way to make it a habit. Night driving has its challenges but understanding the need for a heightened sense of safety after dark can give road users peace of mind.  If night cruising can’t be avoided, observing the given safety measures (and more) can contribute to an overall enjoyable driving experience.