Driving your car takes complete attention. That attention is heightened when the sun goes down. Statistics reveal that 40% of all collisions occur when it is dark outside. Learning how to drive safely also means driving safely at night. These are important lessons for teen drivers as well as every other motorist on the road. It might be time to brush up on your night driving skills. Here’s the safe approach for driving at night:
Turn On Your Headlights
Obviously, you need your headlights on to drive at night. The question then becomes, do you drive with your headlights on during the day? If you get into the habit of driving with your headlights on all the time, then it certainly won’t be an issue at night. Be sure when you do have those headlights on at night that you’re not using your high beams.
Maintain A Decent Braking Distance
It is easy to see further down the road during the day than at night. This is why you should keep a decent braking distance from the car in front of you. They may be stopping short because they see something immediately in front of them that you can’t. It also helps to keep that braking distance so that you’re not putting pressure on the driver in front of you. How many times if you felt “crowded” by someone driving too close from behind?
You shouldn’t be texting and driving at any time of the day or night. However, at night it is more important to stay alert and not just by keeping off the phone. It will be harder to see cyclists and pedestrians. Plus, a lot of animals come out at night and you need to be diligent especially if you are driving on more rural roads.
There is a tendency for drivers to get drowsy at night especially if they been driving all day or coming home from a long work shift. If you are going on an extended road trip and want to drive at night, then you need to rest up during the day. At any point, if you start to feel like you’re drifting off, then you should pull over for a nap. A quick 30 minutes sleep can be the boost you need to make it the rest of the way home.
Make Sure Your Windows Are Clean
Dirty windows create more glare at night than during the day. That can be a huge distraction. This might also be when you discover that you don’t have any windshield wiper fluid or your windshield wipers need replacing. Dirty windows also steam up a lot quicker in extreme temperatures. Bottom line: keep the windows clean and the windshield wipers new.
Tilt Your Mirror
Although you might be careful with turning on your high beams, not every other motorist will be. They can hit your rearview mirror and cause you to be distracted. Slight tilting of that mirror at night can prevent having lights shining your eyes. That’s something you want to avoid when driving at night. Let’s all be safe out on the roads!