12 Tips for Driving Safely at Night
Driving by night can be a lot more difficult than driving by day, as visibility can be poor and being on constant alert can be exhausting. However, if it is unavoidable for you, consider of tips to make your night driving a little less stressful.
Clean bill of health
Keep windscreens and side mirrors clean to avoid increased glare which will make it difficult to see the road ahead. Check that your headlights are working properly and ensure they are clean for greater visibility. Basic car maintenance, such as working break lights and correct tyre pressure are common sense no matter what time of the day you drive, but even more so at night when accidents are more likely to happen.
Help drivers see you in twilight by turning your headlights on before sunset and keeping them on for an hour after sunrise
Help drivers see you in twilight by turning your headlights on before sunset and keeping them on for an hour after sunrise.
It’s important to reduce your speed when driving at night. Even with headlights, you will only see so far ahead and it will be easier to maintain control of the car if you are not speeding.
Bright lights, big city
Remember to dim your headlight when you meet and oncoming car or when someone overtakes you. If someone fails to dim their headlights, refrain from dazzling them on purpose. If both of you can’t see the road, the situation becomes more dangerous. Tilt your rear-view mirror if the driver behind you is using his full headlights.
Remember that if you are tired after a long day your reaction times will be reduced
At night time it can be easy to go on automatic pilot, especially if you know the road. However, it’s important to stay alert and regularly check your mirrors. Remember that if you are tired after a long day your reaction times will be reduced.
It’s important to have your eyes checked regularly for problems which can affect your night vision. If you are having difficulty with your vision at night, make an appointment with an optician.
Room to manoeuvre
Maintain a good distance from the car in front as their visibility may not be great and they may have to break suddenly.
Allow more time for your own journey, so you're not driving under pressure at high speed on a dark road
Leave on time
Allow more time for your own journey, so you're not driving under pressure at high speed on a dark road.
Driving at night has its advantages, such as less traffic, however we are more likely to be tired and this puts us and other drivers at risk.
The RSA have the following advice for tired drivers:
- Pull your car over, park in a safe place and take a nap for 15 minutes (set your mobile phone alarm)
- To really make the most of the break, take a caffeine drink before the nap (150mg of caffeine e.g. 2 cups of coffee). After the nap, the caffeine should have started to take effect
- Then get some fresh air and stretch your legs for a few minutes
- By following all of the above advice you should be able to drive for another hour or so
Watch out for cyclists and also pedestrians, especially near pubs and clubs around closing time. Keep an eye out for animals crossing the road especially in the country. It is best to slow down and let them cross, in case they get dazzled and suddenly run in front of the car.
If your drive under the influence you are putting yourself and others at risk
Driving under the influence at night, at anytime, is asking for trouble. You could seriously injure or kill yourself or a passenger. Your reaction time will be slower and your ability to concentrate on the road will be majorly compromised. If your drive under the influence you are putting yourself and others at risk.
Prepared for the worst
Every driver should be prepared in case of emergency, because who wants to be stranded at night in the middle of nowhere.
- Inflated spare tyre, jack and lug wrench
- Hazard triangle
- First aid kit
- Warm blanket
- Hi-Vis clothing
- Anti-freeze/ Coolant
- Car fire extinguisher (dry powder extinguisher)
- Duct tape (you’d be surprised at how useful this will be in an emergency until you get to a garage)
- Spare phone charger
Car accidents are more likely to happen by night, so be sure that your car is reliable and you are fit to drive before you get behind the wheel. Don’t take a chance by driving at night if you have a broken headlight or are feeling drowsy. Make smart choices and be prepared when you drive at night. If you want a trusty partner on your travels get a car insurance quote online today.