Driving at night is a different and more difficult proposition than day-time driving. Just turning on the headlamps once darkness falls is not what night-time driving is all about. Night driving also tires the driver more than day driving as the driver has to be more attentive and focused. The article tries to provide the readers with some useful guidelines that they should keep in mind whenever they plan to drive at night.
Preparing the car for driving at night:
- The headlines, fog lamps, tail lights and indicators have to be cleaned.
- It is to be ensured that all the lamps are in working condition and that there is no problem in them.
- The windshield as well as the other windows has to be cleaned from both the inside and outside so that the driver can clearly see outside from the car. The inside cleaning is done to ensure that outside lights do not cause glaring inside, disturbing the vision of the driver.
- Glaring and fudgy vision can be avoided by cleaning all rear view mirrors.
- The air-conditioning too needs to be checked, as its proper working might be needed.
- The rear view mirrors should be changed to night setting to ensure that headlights from behind are not directed into the driver’s face.
Suggestions for night-time driving:
- Driving in high speed should be avoided at night; as lack of lighting reduces visibility and consequently reaction time of the driver.
- Vehicles on high beam should not be countered with high beam from one’s own vehicle; this reduces visibility for both vehicles and could increase the probability of a head-on collision.
- Direct staring at lights has to be avoided as this can reduce the driver’s vision for a significant time after that.
- Low beam has to be used when driving in foggy conditions; the fog lamps have to be switched on, provided the vehicle is equipped with the same.
- Interior lights should not be kept on while driving – they have an impact on outside visibility.
- It is to be ensured that the car is adequately ventilated because driving during night hours is a more tiring exercise. Frequent breaks have to be taken for reducing fatigue and improving concentration.
- Drinking and driving is to be strictly avoided, as this impairs the driver’s vision. It can also get you into prison.
- Smoking in cars has to be avoided at night, as nicotine in cigarettes, hamper vision.
- An average speed has to be maintained and the following distance to the car in front should be increased. This helps in increasing the reaction time of the driver.
- If ones’ car breaks down at night, they should park it off the road. The parking lights and hazard lights have to be switched on, alerting other diver about the vehicle’s presence.
- When there are bright street lamps, the sun visor is to be used.
- Unless there is fog, the fog lamps should not be used.
- The headlamps should be maintained at low beam when following another vehicle. This improves the visibility of the other driver..
- The driver should have slept sufficiently before venturing out on a night drive.
- Lights should not be flashed at incoming traffic, as doing so might disturb their vision.
- Honking for overtaking vehicles at night is avoidable, instead flashing the lights would do.
- One has to be alert and be on the lookout for flashing lights for identifying stationary vehicles.
If these above instructions are followed properly, the risks of accidents during night-time driving are significantly reduced. Drive safe!