Driving at night requires a lot of concentration. If you don’t take necessary precautions to ensure that your car is safe enough to drive at night all sorts of things can go wrong.
1. Clear windscreen, clear vision
Before you head off on your journey make sure your windscreen is clean. Keep some newspaper in your car. Even if your windscreen seems clean during the day, night-lights and reflections can make every little spot or streak show up when driving at night.
2. 20/20 vision?
It’s important to have your eyes tested regularly, especially if you’re driving around a lot. If you find that you need to close one eye or drop your head in order to see the road in front of you at night, you should probably have your eyes check out. Bright lights from cars and street lights can also trigger migraines if you’re having to strain your eyes while driving.
3. Adjust your headlights
If your headlights have dropped or have changed the direction they point towards you’ll struggle to see as far as you need to on the road in front of you. Badly positioned headlights can also blind oncoming drivers so make sure that you check and re-position your headlights before leaving.
4. Adjust interior lights
Newer cars are programmed to automatically dim your dashboard lights and other interior lights at night time, but some can still be pretty bright and distracting.
5. Focus on the road
There’s not much else to see, other than the road and other car lights, when driving at night. If you’ve ever had a car with blinding headlights drive behind you, you’ll know how distracting their lights can be in your review mirror. Flip your review mirror and try to stay focused on the road and not on other car lights.
6. Fog and mist
When driving through mist or fog where viability is poor your immediate reaction might be to turn on your brights. The bright light can limit your vision due to the reflection from the fog or mist and lessens your ability to see the road. Use lower-beam lights instead.
When it’s late and the road seems clear it’s tempting to want to get to your destination as quickly as possible. Speeding decreases your ability to react to an unexpected situation: drunk drivers, an animal or pedestrian crossing the road, a fallen tree or a car accident are all typical night time driving experiences.
Increase your following distance and make sure you’re driving at a reasonable speed that allows you to react to any situation in advance.