Due to limited visibility and lighting, driving at night is harder and more dangerous. That’s why drivers should be more cautious and pay extra attention in order to avoid any accidents on the road. Given that in mind, here are some tips that can make your evening drive safer and easier.
Your headlamps help you see the road thus, it’s your primary tool at night. Before you start driving, just make sure that they are working properly and squeaky clean. Remember, dirty headlamps are less effective as the light it produces would be obscured.
Moreover, your signal and taillights should also be in pristine condition. Given that both lighting systems make you visible on the road and serve as your way of communicating with other road users.
Limit your speed
Your headlamps can only cover a certain distance, so limiting your speed can give you more time to react to oncoming road hazards. As a general rule, it’s always better to drive slowly and carefully if you’re unfamiliar with the road that you’re taking.
Clean your windshield
Keep your windshield, rear boot window, and exterior mirrors free from dirt and grime. As mentioned, visibility is less at night and a dirty screen will only make it worse. The layer of dust will obscure your view of the road and will lessen the amount of light.
If you plan to clean them by yourself, use a microfiber cloth. No time to wash your car? Use your car’s sprinkler and wiper to at least clean the windshield. Notably, gas stations also offer free cleaning services when you gas up.
It’s important that you stay alert and focused when driving, even more so at night. In fact, the most common enemy of driving at night is falling asleep. If you’re not accustomed to it, you need to exert all efforts to keep yourself awake.
Also, regularly check the mirrors, observe the oncoming road, and anticipate what will happen next. That way, your mind will keep on working. If possible, find your favorite tunes on the radio and sing along to them. Trust us, it works.
Dim your interior lights
Nowadays, most cars will have a brightness toggle for the gauge cluster and infotainment system which automatically dims when the headlights are engaged. However, some cars take it a step further and allow you to customize how bright or how dim you want your gauge cluster to appear whether in the daytime or the nighttime. You may find the brightness adjuster in the gauge cluster's menu, or it will be a separate switch. Subsequently, some cars will need some extra steps in order to dim the infotainment system as well.
At night, if your surroundings are especially dim, bright lights from your infotainment screen or your gauge cluster could cause some light pollution, which can put a strain on your sight, and hamper some of your ability to see dimly lit places. To compensate for the light pollution inside the cabin, consider turning down the brightness of your interior lights so you may better focus without glare.
Avoid poorly lit roads
Even with your headlamps on, there are some streets with little to no lights at all that pose a threat to your driving. Unexpectedly, small and sometimes huge animals may come out of nowhere, as well as pedestrians, speed bumps, and potholes. Use high beam lights but make sure to dim it if there’s an oncoming vehicle. If you have a choice, it’s still much better to take a well-lit route.
Be cautious of drunk drivers
Drunk drivers are major headaches and it’s more probable that you’ll encounter them at night. They usually drive fast and carelessly, without any regard to other road users. If you encounter one, make sure that you move out of their way and let them be.
Driving at night is inevitable, but if you know the right thing to do, you can live through its hazards and enjoy your quiet evening ride.