Driving at Night: What You Can Do to Make It Safer

The conditions when driving at night are notably different to doing so during the day. This is primarily due to the marked decrease in visibility. However, fatigue and an increased number of dangerous drivers also can make driving at night rather hazardous. Fortunately, if you prepare, there is plenty you can do to mitigate these issues. Here are just a few things to help keep you safe when driving in the dark. 

Monitor Your Fatigue

One of the most important things to remember about driving at night is that it’s the most common time crashes occur. This is partly due to the lower visibility, but also because drivers are less alert. In addition, late at night is when you’ll see the majority of drunk drivers, too. Be sure to keep yourself alert while driving at night by stopping regularly, and consuming caffeine if you feel particularly tired. Remember that doing so will get you there a lot quicker than if you rush and end up crashing. Take into account that other drivers will be sleepy, too, so try to keep a tab on if other people on the road are exhibiting strange or dangerous behaviour. 

Maintain Good Visibility

The decreased visibility is also one of the primary reasons driving at night can be so hazardous. That’s why it’s always important to make sure your view is as clear and uninhibited as possible. If your visibility is poor at night, for instance due to the weather, you should also probably not risk driving in such circumstances, if it can be avoided. 

In addition, you should make sure your front and rear view, and your mirrors are properly cleaned. This is because dirty or damaged windscreens can impede your view and cast glare over the views of other drivers. You should refrain from driving with damaged headlights, as well. You can also try to use your high-beams where possible, as these offer the best visibility for particularly deserted roads. However, they can blind drivers who are coming the opposite direction, so do so diligently, and make sure to turn them off as soon as you see someone approaching. To reduce the impact of glare on your visibility, consider investing in a pair of yellow night vision glasses. These reduces  the impact of glare caused by headlights and flecks of dust on your windscreen. 

Check Your Speed 

A large number of speed-related crashes also occur at night. This is a result of drivers taking unnecessary chances by exceeding the speed limit on quiet roads. You might assume that you are less likely to be caught breaking the speed limit at night. However, in actuality, it is likely that police will be more vigilant at this point in time, because it is when the overwhelming majority of driving-related crimes are committed. In most cases, your headlights also will not stretch far enough to light your stopping position. This is even true if your headlights are on their strongest beam, and you’re driving at 40mph. It’s therefore highly important that you observe your speed as diligently as you would do if you were driving at day. 

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