Driving at night poses various challenges and an increased risk of accidents. Although many drivers think it’s better to drive at night since there is less traffic, night driving comes with decreased visibility, a reduced ability to judge speed and distance, an increase in fatigued drivers, and other risks. Let’s take a look at the risks of driving at night and how to stay safe.
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What are the risks of driving at night?
• You have decreased visibility due to your depth perception, colour recognition, and peripheral vision being compromised in the dark.
• Decreased visibility for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, bikes, and cyclists since motorists don’t necessarily see them and they can’t always see the vehicles.
• Young or inexperienced drivers can increase the risks of accidents.
• There are also more drunk drivers on the roads at night and motorists, as well as other road users, are at risk.
• There are also more fatigued drivers on the road at night.
• Your vehicle’s lights can only shine so far, which results in less time to react to situations.
• Although criminals can strike at any time of the day, they may take advantage of the dark and strike in the evenings.
Road safety tips for driving at night
• Check your vision
Make sure that you can see properly when you get behind the wheel. With visibility decreasing at night, it’s important to ensure that you have good vision. After dark, you’ll be relying on artificial light, which will decrease your ability to notice road signs, vehicles, and obstacles in the road. Go for an eye test to assess if you need glasses to assist in driving at night.
• Stay alert
Distractions can put your safety at risk. If you’re tired or struggling to concentrate, it’s advisable not to drive. Using a cell phone is against the law and it also puts your safety at risk. Also, don’t ever drink and drive. Not only is it illegal, but it also puts other people’s lives at risk. Plan long trips so that you’re driving during the day and stopping to rest at a guesthouse at night.
• Maintain your vehicle
A properly maintained vehicle is safer to drive and reduces your risk of breaking down on the side of the road at night. Make sure the headlights are working and aligned properly to increase visibility and to respect the safety of other road users. It’s distracting to other motorists if your headlights are too high or if you’re driving with the brights on. Check that all the other lights on your vehicle are functioning properly. Keep your windscreen clean and make sure that your windscreen wipers are working efficiently.
• Drive carefully
Improve your road safety at night by driving carefully. While it’s important to exercise caution on the roads during the day, you’ll need to be even more careful after dark. Decrease your speed as your visibility and reaction times are compromised in the dark. Street signs can be difficult to see at night, so you’ll need to pay extra attention if you’re travelling in a new area. Be cautious of animals, pedestrians, and cyclists on the road.
• Be prepared for emergencies
Criminals are more active at night, which can put your safety at risk. Make sure that your cell phone is fully charged so you can get help quickly if your vehicle breaks down or you get lost. If you’re having car difficulties, get as far off the road as you can and set up a reflecting triangle to warn other drivers. Switch on your vehicle’s hazard lights. Planning your trip and letting friends and family know where you’ll be can also help to keep you safe.
Now that you’ve read our road safety tips for driving at night, you can be safer in the evenings. If you’re looking for a new car with additional safety features, be sure to visit Auto Mart today.