Night driving safety tips
Posted by Dale Harris on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 Under: Personal Security
Driving at night can be packed full of dangers, even if you are an experienced driver, or a learner that is embarking on their car journey for the first time and perhaps an area that will keep you safe at night driving as a learner. That is why it is so essential that you take the time to ensure you are driving as safely as possible in low light environments.
Reduce Your Speed
Speed limits exist for a reason, which is even more true at night. It can be hard to spot oncoming dangers such as sharp turns and other drivers in low-light environments, so you must keep your speed at a reduced speed. In turn, this will help you react to hazards quickly and prevent the level of severity of accidents, as well as cutting down on fuel consumption in the long term.
Don’t Drive If You Are Tired
Before you set off for a long car journey at night, consider how tired you are. If you feel extremely fatigued, it’s always a good idea to postpone your trip and try to rest up before you set off. When you are tired, you may focus on brake lights and interior lights, which can be extremely dangerous. If you do find yourself getting tired whilst driving, pull up at a truck stop and have a break. You don’t want to fall asleep at the wheel.
Have Your Eyesight Checked Regularly
Having your eyesight checked regularly is an essential safety tip whether you frequently drive at night or only during daylight hours. Your eyesight is perhaps your most important tool when driving, so it’s essential to ensure you have your eyesight tested regularly. You may even need glasses when driving which may also impact when you are driving home.
Ensure That Your Windscreen And Windows Are Clean
A dirty or fogged-up window can be an extreme danger, especially when driving during the night. It can be far harder to spot oncoming traffic and children crossing the road if your windscreen has low visibility due to dirt and fog. Winter is especially a vulnerable and troublesome time for road users due to iced-over windscreens, be sure to clean your windscreen and check wiper fluid before driving during the night. With that in mind, granted that you effectively use your external windscreen and windows, other car essentials are also to ensure you are maximizing the efficiency of your car when driving at night.
Make Sure Your Headlights Are Working Properly
Due to how dark it can be on some roads at night, especially country roads, you will need to use your headlights. You should always check that your headlights are working before you set off; otherwise, you may find yourself in trouble when a ‘dark road ahead’ sign appears.
Use Your Full Beam Headlights When It Is Safe To Do So
When using full-beam headlights you should always be mindful of the appropriate time and place to apply them when on the road. Full beam headlights, or high beams, are designed to offer you night vision across areas of the road that have minimal lighting. However, as valuable as they are, they can also impair other road users’ vision. Therefore, they should only be used when necessary – in highly dark areas with little traffic.
Keep An Eye Out For Kids, Cyclists & Animals
It can be hard to spot kids, cyclists and animals in low-lit environments, especially if they’re not wearing reflective clothing. Be sure to keep an eye out for anyone crossing or using the road and keep your car at a lower speed, as this will give you more time to react to any coming danger of Kids, Cyclists, and Animals.
Avoid Staring Directly At The Headlights Of Oncoming Vehicles
When passing traffic at night, you will want to avoid staring directly at their headlights. Headlights can blind oncoming drivers, especially using full beam lights. This can disorient you and potentially cause serious accidents.
Watch For Signs Coming From Oncoming Vehicles
Always keep your eyes peeled for signs of oncoming drivers when driving during the night. Other vehicles might be giving you prior warnings, such as flashing their indicators to let you know they are oncoming. This is especially true on dark country roads!
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