Important Tips When Driving in Darkness

Admit it: it's not that easy to drive in the dark. And unless you're Night Vision or Dr. Midnight or even Riddick, then you probably find it uncomfortable--if not hard--adjusting your eyes when it's pitch-black outside.  This makes it more difficult to see cyclists, pedestrians, and other incoming vehicles on the road. What's more, you're also in danger of falling asleep while behind the wheel.

That's the reason why driving at night can be dangerous. According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), 40 percent of collisions occur in the hours of darkness. And if you're like us with less than 20/20 vision, then following these tips may can be extremely helpful in preventing untoward accidents or mishaps on the road:

Start with the basics

Make sure to keep your windows and headlights clean at night. And have your eyes checked for possible problems before you decide to drive a long journey at night.

Also make sure to take short breaks--at least every two hours. That way, you don't fall asleep while driving.

Don't drive under pressure

Think ahead; make sure to plan beforehand. Give yourself a lot of leeway when blocking your time--at least an additional thirty minutes to an hour on your schedule just to be sure. That way, you won't feel pressured in case you encounter a problem while driving at night.

Stay alert for bright headlights

Blinded by an incoming vehicle? Don't look at the headlights. Instead, focus on the left-hand curb, slow down, and keep your speed constant.

Don't forget twilight

No, we're not talking about that vampire movie, here. We're talking about that twilight when the sun is below the horizon. This is when the sun's rays are scattered from the atmosphere, making visibility on the road less easier (and sometimes even confusing for drivers). That's why the former Institute of Advanced Motorists recommends drivers to turn their headlights on before sunset, and keep them on for an hour even after sunrise. This makes it easier for drivers to see your vehicle when twilight occurs.

Watch out for "glimmers"

Those "small glimmers" ahead that you see on road bends or corners, or even those small lights you see on the top part of the road when you're driving on hills or slopes are signs of incoming vehicles. Pay attention to them, and prepare to dim your headlights when they drive by.

Keep it slow--this is not a 'Fast and Furious' movie

Whenever possible, maintain a slow speed--around 65 to 72 kph (at most). If there are incoming cars, go slow--shoot for 60 kph, instead. Reserve the 'Fast and Furious' drive for another time--and make sure to do it when the sun is up and shining brightly.