Sometimes, there’s nothing more relaxing than a leisurely night drive. But with less visibility comes more risk. There are dangers that even the most experienced of drivers should be wary of -- and certain precautions we should all keep in mind.
Here are 5 safety tips for night driving.
Keep your windscreen clear
Windscreens that may appear spotless in daylight might not be as squeaky clean as you think. Even the slightest of streaks and stains may distort what light there is, causing glare during the night. A wipe down of the exterior and interior should do the trick, the same goes for any condensation. There’s obviously an existing handicap related to navigating in the dark, don’t make it any harder for yourself.
Avoid staring directly at lights
Bright lights will dazzle and disorient you, leading to fairly dangerous road scenarios. The rule of thumb is to never stare directly at the lights when you’re behind the wheel. If you do catch a full beam from oncoming traffic, slow down, re-orient yourself with the left-hand kerb, and gradually readjust back on course. Similarly, it’s best to aim your own lights in a manner which does not obstruct others on the road.
Slow down & give space
Do not feel obligated to speed up because of anyone else. Drive at a pace where you are comfortable. Night driving means whatever may pop up before you will be less visible, so exercise some caution. Animals, pedestrians, vehicles, and any other obstacles. On a related note, try to give others as much space as practical. No matter how safe or experienced a driver you may be, you will never be able to account for the possible actions and mindset of any other driver.
Any kind of impairment means you should stay off the road (eyesight, fatigue, intoxication)
If you’re tired, get off the road. If your eyesight isn’t up to standard, get off the road. And if you’re intoxicated in any way -- even below the legal BAC limit -- the moment it impairs your coordination, definitely get off the road. It’s simply not worth the risk. And the reckless actions of yourself are not worth endangering others. This isn’t a discussion of legality or morality. It’s a discussion of personal and collective safety. Be a human being and think about the potential impact of what you are doing.
Don’t let your tyres fail you!
As we’ve already established, driving at night can be an uphill battle on occasions. Why keep stacking the odds against yourself with substandard tyres? Check the air pressure, check for punctures, ensure there’s enough tread -- anything and everything to do with the health of your tyres should be considered before taking to the road. Night, day, or anything in between.
Talk to the professionals today.