Driving at night can be challenging for even the most experienced drivers. It’s not surprising to hear that while only a quarter of driving occurs at night, more than half the vehicle related deaths happen during this time. Certainly this has a lot to do with evening activities and also limited visibility. Being a safe driver means being able to maneuver on dark roads as well as in the light. We’ve come up with 7 simple tips to improve your driving after dark.
1.) Adjust your Headlights
When driving at night it’s important to have your headlights pointed in the right direction. If you think your lights aren’t illuminating enough space, bring them to a professional or check them yourself. You can adjust your headlights parking in front of a wall and moving your lights yourself. If you are unsure of adjusting the lights yourself, bring them into our service department and our friendly technicians will adjust them for you.
2.) Clean Your Lights
Over time grime builds up on headlights, be sure to take special care to clean all external lights on your vehicle. Being seen at night is nearly as important as seeing yourself. Older model vehicles have plastic headlight covers that are known to yellow with age, replace your yellow headlight covers and you’ll be seeing like new again.
3.) Turn on Your Lights During Twilight Hours
When driving during dusk you may believe that you’re easy to see, but actually without lights some cars can blend in. Using your lights during these hours make you more visible to other drivers.
4.) Watch the Right Side of the Road
If you find yourself being blinded by another driver’s lights focus on the right side of the road. This will give you a guide to know where your car should be as well as block some of the light blinding you. Many times there is a white line on the right side of the road making it even easier to guide yourself through the night.
5.) Get Enough Sleep
When driving at night, your eyes are working a lot harder and, if your mind is fatigued too, it can easily lead to accident. Be sure your mind and eyes are well rested before beginning a late night venture.
6.) Don’t Drink and Drive
This should go without mention, but we feel we should anyways. Drinking will slow your reaction time and relax your body. You have a higher chance of falling asleep behind the wheel. In this state, it will also be more challenging to maneuver turns, judge distance and speeds of other drivers. The simple solution for this situation is to have a designated driver. Be mindful that drinking and driving is more common at night, so continue to drive defensively.
7.) Watch for Animal Eyes
If you find yourself driving down a lonely stretch of country road, remember to watch for retina reflections in the dark. You’ll often be able to spot the eyes of an animal long before the body comes into your headlights illumination. We recommend slowing until you identify or pass the animal. If you swerve to try to avoid the animal, they sometimes follow your headlights and you’ll hit them anyways. Keep in mind that larger animals such as deer or large dogs can cause serious damage to you or your vehicle.
When you put these 7 tips into action, you’ll be surprised how much easier it is too drive at night. If you still find that night blindness plagues you, do what you can to avoid driving at night.