Tips When Driving During the Night
You are exposed to various kinds of risks whenever you sit behind the wheel, but the chances of these dangers happening are increased whenever the road gets dark. The darkness conceals things that are normally seen during the day and your ability to see things diminishes in low light. That’s why you need to be extra careful and alert in driving when the sun goes down. Here are some tips to help you stay safe in driving during the night.
## 1. Check if your headlights or foglamps are working. Clean them regularly.
Your car’s headlights play an important role in improving your road visibility not only during the night, but also during extreme weather conditions. That’s why it is absolutely necessary to check your headlights before you drive. If your headlights don’t shine like they used to, chances are they have been neglected for a long time. Most headlights are made of plastic which can become clouded or hazy due to constant exposure from UV rays and other composition in the air. Keep them clean by polishing, as this will improve your road visibility.
You also need to know when to use your car’s headlights. Only use the high beam setting if there are few lights on the street, as the reach is far and will help you keep track of animals or people crossing the road. On the other hand, use the low beam setting when there are enough sources of light outside and when other vehicles are approaching. This will prevent stunning other drivers.
## 2. Avoid looking at an approaching car’s headlights.
Common sense dictates that you shouldn’t look directly to a light. Avoid looking at an oncoming car’s headlights, especially if the high beam is on because your pupils will contract, admitting less light. Spots may also momentarily cloud your vision and will distract you from driving. Slow down when this happens.
If the car behind you has high beams, position your rearview mirror to direct the light away from your eyes. This will also reflect the light back and let the driver behind you know that his headlights are blinding.
## 3. Switch your interior lights off.
Bright lights inside your cabin can distract and diminish your visibility of things on the road. When looking through a dark place from a bright one, we’ll have difficulty seeing the things in the dark (especially those that are dimly-lit), because scientifically, our pupils contract and thus allows less light to pass through. As opposed to viewing from a dark place, our pupils dilate and admit more light from the outside.
## 4. Keep your mirrors and windshield clean.
If your windshield looks clean when the sun is up, it may not be the case at night. Some marks can cause a glare and diminish your road visibility. Keep your windshield clean not only from the outside, but inside as well.
## 5. Stay alert. Avoid driving if you are tired.
Stay more alert than usual when you’re driving during the night. Stay alert for any movement outside your car. Drive slowly, since you might not able to immediately spot a pedestrian or an animal.
Lastly, what probably is the most important tip that you should remember when driving in the night is that you should not do it when you are tired or sleepy. Being tired diminishes your senses and perception, thus decreasing your level of awareness of the road. This is a recipe for an accident.
If you feel sleepy, park somewhere to sleep your fatigue off. Remember, you’re not the only person on the road. Driving while you are tired and sleepy will not only affect your life, but others’ as well if you doze on the wheel.