Everyone must drive at night eventually. Therefore, responsible drivers prepare for it. For some, driving after sunset is second nature. Others prefer to avoid it.
Vision is the biggest nighttime driving challenge. The darkness paired with artificial lights creates some challenges. At the wrong angle, they’ll blind drivers. The lack of proper lighting creates new blind spots and worsens existing ones.
Even seasoned drivers must check themselves and pay extra attention to the road in the dark. You never know what might decide to suddenly run across the street or stop in front of your path.
The following are seven safety tips for driving at night.
Table of Contents
1. Manage the Lights
Before sunset, drivers manage the sun’s glare by employing the vehicle’s sun visor. Many also wear sunglasses. At night, it’s a different story – you must manage the glare from a variety of artificial lights.
The nighttime lights come from buildings, street lamps, and other vehicles, and you can’t avoid any of them. Every driver must employ their vehicle’s beams. It’s uncomfortable when a tall car using its high beams crosses your path.
One option is to manage the lights with tinted glasses that offset the glare. They’re similar to sunglasses and available for purchase online.
2. Wear Your Prescription Glasses
On the topic of glasses, those who have the prescription kind must wear them. If someone from the authorities pulls you over, they check those details on driver’s licenses.
Moreover, your prescription glasses can help you see better after the sun sets. Prescription lenses have become so versatile. They can protect eyes against blue light and they dim when the wearer walks outside.
The same tint can make driving at night easier.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Navigating the roads after dark requires extra alertness. Thus, drivers benefit from sleeping six to eight hours nightly. Drowsy driving is already dangerous during the day hours. It’s worse after the sun sets.
In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that 91,000 reported incidents had a drowsy driving element attached to them. An estimated 50,000 individuals experienced an injury and 800 passed away.
If you find yourself involved in a vehicle collision, speak with legal professionals for additional assistance.
4. Keep Your Mirrors, Windows, and Windshield Clean
Well-maintained cars help prevent accidents around the clock. Clean cars help prevent accidents when it’s dark and look good during the daytime.
Whether you wash the vehicle yourself or have professionals take care of the task, always check that the mirrors, windows, and windshields are clean.
Your goal is to keep them streak- and spot-free. When the artificial lights and sunlight hit them in a certain way, they make the glare worse, further impairing your vision.
In addition to keeping the vehicle clean, check your vehicle’s lights and signals regularly. You don’t want the authorities to pull over and let you know that they’re not working properly.
5. Avoid Driving While Intoxicated
The NHTSA has found that DUI and DWI occur more often at night than during the day. Plus, offenses are more common during the weekend than during the week.
Therefore, when you combine nighttime driving with the weekend, it’s more dangerous statistically.
Staying safe means avoiding driving while intoxicated since you expect others to do the same.
6. Avoid Distractions
Common driving distractions include:
- Talking or fiddling with smartphones
- Using GPS
- Eating or drinking
- Backseat driving passengers
All these distractions become more dangerous after the sun sets when you experience a compromised vision.
The good news is that there is less traffic on the roads in the evening. Since you can go from Point A to Point B much faster, it’s easier to focus and avoid distractions.
7. Practice Defensive Driving
In some ways, practicing defensive driving is easier after dark than during the daytime. Thus, maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Defensive driving puts safety first. If a vehicle cuts you off, you don’t retaliate. You don’t even honk your horn at them. Instead, you ensure that you continue driving at the appropriate speed limit and that you maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Thus, defensive driving also means having a courteous attitude, even if other drivers do not show it.
Sometimes you can’t avoid driving after the sun sets. Driving at night has one major challenge – vision impairment. Otherwise, you deal with less traffic and fewer distractions. To stay safe, find a way to deal with the glare of vehicles and artificial lights, such as wearing glasses. Then, remember to practice your defensive driving skills.