Night time driving is generally not as safe as driving during day. Add to that poor weather such as heavy rain or fog, and night time driving can be downright risky, if not dangerous.
In some cases, it’s better to avoid it altogether if given the option. Unfortunately, that’s not very often. In this article, we provide 8 simple tips that can cut down your night time driving risk.
1. Be alert, very alert
Not to be too obvious but night time driving occurs, well, after dark and nearer the time that many people go to bed. You probably know where we are going with this: It’s easy to get drowsy when driving at night. The solution is to do whatever you have to do to stay alert. Frequent night drivers should consider rolling down the window; turning up the radio; and, if your trip is long, getting a cup of coffee.
2. Avoid using your cell phone
Operating a cell phone while you drive isn’t a good idea and even illegal in some places, but many people do it anyway. Fundamental rule: Whether it’s day or night, don’t text. All you’re doing is inviting an accident.
If you do want to speak to someone, stop then dial the number and put your cell phone on speaker phone.
3. Check headlight adjustment
Headlights are the only things that allow you to see the road when night driving, but yours might not be adjusted right. Many cars do not have their headlights aligned properly, especially older cars. It’s certainly possible for you to check and adjust your own headlights. Take a look on the web or Youtube for step-by-step instructions.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, bring your car to a mechanic. They adjust headlights all the time and can do it quickly.
4. Check your headlights regularly
We know this sounds silly but get in the habit of checking to see that both of your headlights are working every month or so. Most people don’t know a light is out until someone tells them and that can be a long time after the light goes out.
By the way, you don’t have to get out of your car. At night, turn on your lights and illuminate something close, like a garage door. Be sure to check your high beams, low beams and directional too.
5. Dim interior lights
If you have a newer car with brilliant LED lighting, your instrument panel can be illuminated to brightly. If this is the case, adjust the brightness of your dash lights so they are a soft glow. This will keep your night vision working at its peak. By the way, any interior light on in your car will do the same.
6. Focus on the right side
Here’s a little trick: When the headlights of oncoming cars make it very difficult to see at night, rather than focusing straight ahead, focus on the right side of the road. This is perfectly safe and will prevent the blindness that occurs – especially if they have their high-beams on.
7. Keep your windshield clean
Our friends at Browning of Norco, a local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Norco, CA, suggested the following: keep your windshield clean. A windshield that is dirty on the inside or outside is going to scatter light. This can really be a problem at night so be safe and clean the inside and outside of your windshield often.
8. Deer never travel alone
Depending on where you live in the country, you may have deer jump in front of you while you are driving. Remember that deer almost never travel alone. If you see one, there are others that may cross in front of you too.