It is terrifying and unsafe to drive at night. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, road fatalities increase thrice at night. Human vision is also ineffective. Human eyes have poor night vision, with decreased depth perception, peripheral vision, and color discrimination.
However, you may decide to go on a road trip when it is safer to do so, and the tips below can help you improve your evening driving experience and reduce potential hazards. So, to navigate these perilous and dark roads, keep these guidelines in mind.
10 Points To Remember When Driving At Night
1. If Your Headlights Or Windshields Are Damaged Or Dirty, Don't Drive.
You've probably noticed how quickly your windshield gets dirty if you've ever gone on a road trip. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the accumulated grime can increase the glare from other cars and street lights, making it more difficult for you to see the road. Windshield damage can have the same effect, so it is best to repair any cracks before leaving.
Dirty or damaged headlights can cast less light on the road ahead, obstructing visibility. Start your journey with clean lights and windows, and then touch them up as needed using a squeegee and a pail of water available at most petrol stations.
2. Watch Your Speed.
To begin, we'll state that driving too fast is never a smart idea, but following established speed limits is especially vital at night when your field of vision is limited. The more quickly you drive, the less time you have to react if something unexpected happens.
Lastly, you should drive at a safe speed for the conditions. On wet roads, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recommends limiting your speed by one-third, and in the snow, by half.
3. Avoid Driving When Drowsy
Drunk driving is extremely risky and has many of the same negative effects as drunk driving. If you nod off for even a fraction of a second, you risk losing control of your vehicle. Even though some strategies, such as coffee consumption, may work for some folks on occasion, the reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution that will work for everybody.
Therefore before getting behind the wheel, it's important to be conscious of your level of weariness. If you're worried about falling asleep, find another way home or wait it out and relax where you are if you can. Finding a safe location to pull over if you become drowsy while driving is your best bet.
4. Be Extra Cautious Of Wildlife
While there is usually less traffic on the roadways at night, nocturnal creatures may be out in force, especially in more rural locations. Deer, wild pigs, opossums, raccoons, armadillos, and other animals are frequently seen on and around roads, so keep aware of your own safety and the safety of the animals!
Take notice of your surroundings and be prepared to halt if your journey takes you through dark or twisty rural roads. Swerving to avoid an animal that darts in front of your car can be dangerous, so slow down ahead of time to give yourself plenty of time to stop. You may not be able to see the full animal at first, but as your headlights bounce off their retinas, keep an eye out for their bright eyes.
5. Don't Stare at Oncoming Lights
At night, bright lights might make it difficult to concentrate. The dim glow of the instrument panel and the dark road ahead are both familiar sights inside the car. It's incredibly simple to become distracted and stare into the headlights of an 18-wheeler heading your way without even realizing it. Turn your head away from other road lights and avoid looking at incoming high beams.
Look away, even if you're trying to figure out if that oncoming car's high beams are on or if they're just mis-aimed. you also can relocate your rearview mirror to reflect light backward If the vehicle in front of you has its high beams turned on, alerting the driver and keeping the reflection away from your own eyes.
6. Don't Wear the Wrong Glasses
Have you seen advertisements saying that wearing yellow-tinted spectacles will improve your night vision? Don't believe what they're saying. According to the Sunglass Association of America, yellow-lens night driving glasses just make you think you can see better. The idea behind such glasses is that they will enhance contrast, making it much easier to identify obstacles in low light. In actuality, these wacky glasses reduce the amount of light that you can see.
Prescription glasses with an anti-reflective coating, which prevents light from bouncing around within your lenses, are a wise choice. Furthermore, these glasses have been demonstrated to admit more light into the room. Even if you're a fan of '80s music, it's better to avoid wearing sunglasses or glasses at night if you don't need vision correction. According to the sunglass industry, you will see the most light whether your glasses are anti-reflective coated or not.
7. Clean and Adjust Your Exterior Mirrors
Dirty mirrors, like a dirty windshield, can reflect and distort light, causing the driver to become distracted. Clean your dirty mirrors since they reflect the lights from automobiles behind you in a wider, diffused shape that might cause glare in your eyes. Also, position the exterior mirrors such that you can shift your head away from the light reflected in them.
We like to point them slightly downward. By tilting your head slightly forward, you can see automobiles behind you while keeping the other car's headlights out of your eyes and preventing them from briefly blinding you with their high beams. Also, make sure your inner rear-view mirror is set to Night or Auto Dim, which darkens the mirror to reduce glare.
8. Be Extra Cautious Of Other Drivers
Even though driving at night may test your own abilities, it's also crucial to be mindful of the challenges that other drivers are encountering and bringing to the table. Even if there are fewer automobiles on the road at night, it is just as crucial, if not more so, to keep an eye out for those who share it.
Drunk drivers can be seen at any time of day, although they are more prevalent at night. Drowsy driving is the same way; people can fall asleep while driving in broad daylight, but it's more prevalent at night. Finally, presume that if you have problems with dark visibility, others do as well. With all of these factors at play, it's vital to keep an eye out for other vehicles when driving at night.
9. Add Auxiliary Lights Cautiously
When it's time to really light up the night, there is plenty of auxiliary lighting to choose from. These lights are known by various names, including driving lights, spotlights, and pencil beams. When interacting with them, though, you must be cautious. Some are only for off-road use, while others are merely meant to augment your high beams. As a result, double-check the legality of the lights for road use in your state, as some are prohibited.
The reason for this is that light from a high-intensity discharge (HID) or LED source can appear to be instant sunshine, and your eyes will acclimate to the increased brightness after a period. When you turn off your incoming traffic lights, your regular low-beam headlights become unreasonably dark. It can take up to 30 seconds for your eyes to adjust as though you've just walked into a dark movie theater.
10. Don't Distract Yourself While Driving
Limiting distractions when driving is usually a good idea, but it's more important at night. Glancing at your phone late at night may cause visual damage, making it more difficult to confirm that the road is clear. That is, you will require as much response time and concentration as possible.