Generally speaking, people are tired at night time. So the chances are when they’re driving during the night they want to get home as soon as possible. Driver’s ability to see is affected heavily at night as the darkness itself contrasted with people’s bright headlights makes for difficult driving conditions. According to a recent poll by The Accident Group, more than half of all car accidents occur at night, or when visibility is severely reduced.
Despite this, night driving can be made safer if you’re willing to adopt a few small changes. If you find that getting behind the wheel after the sun has gone down is a little bit daunting, here are a few tips to make things that little bit easier for you.
Invest in good Bulbs
As night approaches your eyes will slowly adapt to the darkness, so it’s important to remember to switch your headlights on. Most cars do this automatically nowadays, but it’s still worth checking for the light on the dash to make sure they are illuminated. Your headlights should point directly in front of you. If they don’t then there is a problem and you need to consult a trusted mechanic to rectify it.
If a headlight bulbs burns out, replace it immediately. It’s good practice to have a spare set of bulbs in your car. This means that you won’t be driving with just one headlight which will not only affect your ability to see but is also illegal in the UK. Good quality bulbs will not only allow you to see more, but they will also last longer. Just don’t forget to dim the full beam if there are oncoming cars.
Clean all Windows and Mirrors
It’s important for safety’s sake to ensure that your windows and mirrors are clean. This is even more important during the night. Use old newspaper or a microfibre cloth to remove dirt and grime from your car’s windscreens, side windows and mirrors.
Residue such as mud and dried water droplets will add glare which can make night time driving quite difficult. It’s also a good idea to wipe your headlights whenever you see a buildup of dirt on them, as this will further increase your visibility when it’s dark outside.
When driving it’s always important to be vigilant. However this is even more of an important point when driving during the night. Busy periods such as rush hour can be very hazardous when it’s dark outside, so vigilance is key. On the rat race to get home, some people will do just about anything to get one car length ahead. As a driver you have to spot the signs and anticipate such dangerous manoeuvres.
When driving in the dark, do not look directly at other motorist’s headlights – look at the white line on the edge of the road instead. If you’re driving for long distances, then take some short brakes to help you and your eyes feel refreshed. Always keep your distance between yourself and the car in front – especially when visibility is impaired. Having that little bit of extra room between you and the car in front will mean that their mistakes will have less chance of affecting you, and you will also notice hazards such as potholes that little bit earlier so that you can avoid them.
Get your Eyes checked Regularly
As people get older, sight impairs progressively. It is recommended that you have your eyes checked every two years or so. If you have severe vision impairments, then wear glasses when behind the wheel. However it’s important not to wear sunglasses during the night. Instead, invest in a decent pair of night vision glasses to suit your prescription. The lenses on night vision glasses prevent reflections of light and help to keep your eyes relaxed while driving.