Advice for Safe Driving at Night
If you’ve ever been on the road at night, then you likely understand how much harder it is to see. This is a huge danger because good visibility is essential to safe driving and avoiding hazards.
Accidents at night are unsurprisingly common, which may raise the question of when you need to call the police. Generally speaking, contacting the authorities after accidents exceeding $1,000 in damages is appropriate, although this determination can be hard to make.
Car accident claims can be incredibly complex and you’re safest gathering as much official documentation as possible. What will keep you even safer is avoiding an accident at night entirely, which you can do by following the advice we have outlined below.
Proper Headlight Usage
A crucial starting point is proper headlight usage.
Not only must you use your headlights when it is dark, but you also need to ensure that your lights are high-quality and properly adjusted.
If your headlights provide dim lighting, you won’t be able to see anything. Alternatively, excessively bright headlights can blind oncoming drivers and inadvertently cause accidents. A healthy balance between the two is appropriate for normal nighttime driving conditions.
Additionally, you’ll want to know which headlights to use. Opt for your low beams when driving by other drivers and your high beams for situations without other drivers where it is excessively dark like country roads.
Your headlights are a key way to increase your visibility at night when used properly and will directly reduce your chances of getting in an accident.
Avoid Dangerous Roads
You should also try to avoid dangerous roads.
This applies to roads that lack street lighting, those that don’t adequately provide visibility of upcoming hazards, and two-lane highways. Two-lane highways are outstandingly dangerous because they involve driving directly next to oncoming traffic at high speeds.
Because so many accidents happen at night, you need to avoid situations that make serious accidents more likely. You are safest choosing to not drive when it’s dark, but sometimes you don’t have a choice and this means picking safer routes.
With this in mind, try to stick to busier and well-lit roads that you are familiar with at night.
Protect Your Vision
Another key tip is to protect your vision. This can be done in a few ways.
Firstly, you should look away from other cars when passing. Oncoming cars can be blinding and staring straight ahead can be dangerous. Instead, you should look down and to the right and try to focus on the shoulder line to keep track of where you are.
The second method is to limit the lights inside your car. If you have bright lights coming from your overhead cabin or electronic devices, this can cause glare that makes it hard to see outside. Eliminate any unnecessary lights and consider dimming dashboard lights to improve outward visibility.
The last technique is to keep your windshield and windows clean. With a dirty windshield, your visibility is impaired and the lights from other cars can result in glare for you. Keep your windshield, front and rear mirrors, side mirrors, and rear windshield clean to give you the clearest view.
When you accommodate the lack of visibility at night by minimizing additional disruptions, you’ll be able to see much better and effectively avoid any mistakes.
The last tip you should remember is to drive defensively at night.
Driving at night has extra concerns that extend beyond poor visibility. The two primary issues here include the fatigue of other drivers and the higher prevalence of drinking and driving.
Because there is a higher likelihood of encountering an unsafe driver, you must be prepared for any other driver to be dangerous. Defensive driving accounts for this and entails looking ahead to identify potential hazards and making corrective driving actions to avoid them.
This means keeping your eyes peeled and always being ready to brake, lane change, or swerve off the road if necessary. You never know when another driver might be impaired and you need to be ready to act in a split second.
Driving at night is an important skill for any driver to learn. You never know when you might have to be on the road at night and being unprepared for the reduced visibility and increased risk of bad driving from others can easily result in an accident.
Night driving is drastically different from daytime driving and requires extra cautionary measures. This includes proper headlight usage, avoiding dangerous roads, protecting your vision, and driving defensively.
When you remember the risks of driving at night and drive safely to accommodate them, you are far less likely to get into a serious accident and have your life affected.