Night driving poses unique dangers and risks. Visibility is usually reduced, the likelihood of passing by an intoxicated driver increases and construction zones on highways are often bustling with activity. Here are five tips to help you stay safe when driving after sundown.
Wash off Your Headlights and Taillights
Your headlights help you see, and both your headlights and taillights help others see you. They’ll only be effective, though, if they’re clean. Headlights and tail lights that are covered in dirt won’t be very visible.
If your lights are hidden behind a layer of film of dust, clean them off at a gas station before getting on the road. Lots of stations have complimentary washer fluid that is perfect for wiping off headlights and taillights with.
Clean Your Windshield
Cleaning your windshield will reduce glare from others’ headlights, especially when driving on rainy nights. In addition to wiping down the exterior of your windshield with washer fluid (which you can do when cleaning off your headlights and taillights at a gas station), you should also clean the interior of your windshield. Use a glass cleaner and coffee filters to wipe away any marks without leaving lint behind, which paper towels will leave.
Dim Your Dash Lights and Dome Light
When driving, turning down any lights inside of your car will make it easier to see outside of your vehicle. Interior lights can be distracting and blinding when it’s dark, preventing you from peering into the dark.
Specifically, you should dim your dash lights as low as you can while keeping them on so you can see your speedometer and other gauges. Additionally, try to limit the use of your vehicle’s dome light, which can be especially bright.
Slow Down — Even Below the Speed Limit
One of the biggest risks of night driving is the reduced reaction time you have. Because you can’t see as far ahead as you’re able to in the day, you have less time to react once you do see something ahead of you.
You can counteract this consequence of not being able to see far by driving slower. You shouldn’t be driving faster than the speed limit during the day. At night, you may want to go even slower. Slowing down just a few miles per hour can greatly increase how much reaction time you have. The additional seconds you gain could be the time you need to avoid an accident. Also, if you come across something unexpected in the road it will help you stop more quickly.
Take a Traffic School Class on Night Driving
Nothing is more beneficial than practicing night driving in a safe and secure setting. To get learn how to deal with the challenges of driving when it’s dark, look for a CA traffic school class that specifically offers classes on night driving. You’ll be able to learn additional strategies for dealing with these and other difficulties. If you also take driving lessons as part of your coursework, you’ll also get first-hand experience driving after dark.
Whether you’re a novice or experienced driver, it’s important to always remember the unique challenges that night driving poses. Keep these tips in mind so that you’re able to safely navigate the roads once the sun goes down.