Driving at night comes with unique challenges that may not be present during daytime hours. One of them is darkness; ninety percent of a driver's reaction depends on vision, which is limited at night.
Another factor that increases the risk on the road is fatigue. Drowsiness makes driving more difficult by dulling concentration and slowing reaction time. No matter how good a driver you are, if you are driving tired, all the expertise is out of the car and may end in fatality.
Most of the time you are unaware of night driving’s special hazards and don’t know effective ways to deal with them. So, in order to keep yourself and others safe on the road after sundown, we put together a hit list of 6 night driving safety tips.
The first safety tip is to keep your car clean to increase visibility and response time. Sure thing, a dirty windshield seems harmless during the day but can increase the glare from other vehicles and street lights, ultimately making it harder for you to see the road.
Don't forget about headlights! Dirty or damaged headlights will produce a lower level of illumination, compromising how far ahead you can see at night.
Are your headlight and taillights in good working order? Are they properly aimed? Besides, it’s a legal requirement that all your exterior lights work; you also want to see clearly and be seen without blinding other drivers, so make sure you check them regularly.
Regular headlight maintenance takes only a matter of seconds and can save your and others' lives.
You might want to read: 6 basic personal safety tips for women
Another essential safety tip is to use your lights, it sounds like dumb advice, but most people forget about it. If your vehicle does not have automatic headlights, a good rule is to turn your lights on one hour before sunset.
Also, don't forget to use your high beams when appropriate. A lot of people forget to use them, which is a mistake, especially in isolated areas, because they can improve visibility. In case another car approaches, dim your high beams and switch to low beams, this tip can be applied also in the fog, rain, or snow.
It's important to know what to do if an oncoming vehicle is not dimming its headlights. It’s best to follow the white line on the right side of the road with your eyes until the other vehicle has passed. This will limit disorientation by the other drivers headlights and allow you to pass by safely.
Before heading out, it's important to check the route. Thanks to many apps you can do that in just a few seconds. This will be a guide for you to know what you can find on the way, for instance: traffic, accidents, or road conditions.
Also, note any gas station and hotel, this way, you'll have a good idea of where you can stop in case something happens along the road.
On other hand, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends keeping emergency supplies in your vehicle. Some suggested items include a cell phone and charger, first aid kit, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, tire gauge, nonperishable food, extra windshield washer fluid, and blankets.
An essential night driving safety tip is to watch your speed. The faster you drive, the less time you have to respond if something pops out unexpectedly. It’s also ideal to make sure you have a following distance of at least three seconds between your car and any vehicle in front of you.
You can also read: Tips for staying safe while traveling
Sure, we’re all in a rush to get home, but reducing your speed and avoiding tailgating is far likelier to get you there safe and sound.
The best way to avoid an incident at night is to be expecting lights and movement. In the dark, it is harder to see animals, kids playing, or debris on the side of the road.
Additionally, keep away from texting, fiddling with the radio, or dining in your car; taking your attention off the road is dangerous.
Also, be alert by checking your mirrors constantly to be aware of what is happening around you.
Sometimes, especially at night, it’s more about watching for other drivers’ mistakes than worrying about your own, so always be at the top of your game for defensive driving skills.
Our sixth night-driving safety tip is to share your current location because your odds of being victimized while driving are even higher at night when potential thieves feel like they can use the cover of darkness.
In these scenarios HelpYouFind.Me will be a great ally for you thanks to its built-in telegram bot, which will let your loved ones know where you are by instantly sending your current location via your smartphone.
The updated location immediately appears on your feed, where only people you've allowed access to will be able to see it.
Prepare your phone ahead, so you’re always ready to act immediately in an emergency while driving alone at night.
Allow plenty of time to get to your destination safely. And always familiarize yourself with directions and maps before you go, also don't forget to let others know your route and anticipated arrival time.
Preparation goes a long way in making your road trips safer. And following all of these tips can help you have a calmer, more enjoyable nighttime drive.
Do you like these tips? Feel free to add more in the comments section. We're eager to know how you protect yourself during your night road trips.
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