Driving at night is often necessary but it’s also dangerous. More than half of all driving accidents occur at night according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This makes sense when you consider the limited visibility and fatigue that many drivers are dealing with after the sun goes down. Even if you have excellent vision and you’re well-rested, there’s no telling how impaired the other drivers on the road may be. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you drive as safely at night as possible.
- Make sure your interior panel lights are not too bright. It’s important to be able to see your dashboard and instrument panel when you’re driving, of course, but if it’s too bright, it will make it harder to see what’s in front of you. Use that dimmer and lower your lights.
- Don’t get distracted by oncoming traffic. Just like your dashboard lights can make it harder to see, staring at the headlights of cars coming at you can also disrupt your vision. Also, think about the last time someone took a photo of you with a flash – you were probably still seeing that flash long after the shutter snapped. Same thing with those headlights.
- Clean your windshield. If the glass is dirty, those streaks will cause glare. If your windshield fogs up, avoid using your hand to remove it. It may initially remove the moisture, but it will leave streaks that will just create more glare. Keep a cloth in the car for this instead.
- Clean your mirrors, too. Just like your windshield, the glare from the lights of cars behind you will make it difficult to see if your mirrors are all streaked. Clean them with a microfiber cloth and be sure to adjust them so that the reflection of the lights isn’t getting in your eyes.
- Be alert to eyes on the road. You’re more likely to see the eyes of an animal on the road before you see the animal itself, so be on the lookout for a pair of bright eyes reflecting your lights back at you. If you see an animal, slow down to avoid a collision if the animal darts out in front of you.
Taking steps to reduce eye strain and vision impairments will go a long way in helping to keep you safe. Remember to never drink and drive, never text and drive, and always pay attention to your surroundings. Take breaks if you’re driving for long stretches and avoid driving when you’re fatigued. Following these recommendations can help you and the other drivers on the road get where you need to be in one piece.
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