Driving in the dark can be a scary and daunting experience. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone however if not done correctly you can cause not only yourself but other roads users danger. Most accidents happen during the darker hours of the night, so you want to minimise the risk of an incident as much as possible. Read on to find out our main safety tips for driving in the dark.
Why is it hard driving in the dark?
One of the main reasons why many people struggle with driving in the dark is due to reduced visibility. This makes it harder for road users to estimate and judge speed and distance. Sometimes night driving can be made by other factors such as weather conditions or being tired which can significantly increase the risk of an incident.
We always recommend if you are feeling slightly sleepy to open a window or get the fresh air blowing, this will hopefully give you a wake-up boost.
Keep your vehicle clean
Keeping your vehicle clean when driving in the dark is going to be one of your key priorities, a dirty car can cause poor visibility. When thinking about your headlights, you are going to want to keep them clean, so they light up the road sufficiently. While on the subject of headlights, you should always be on top of maintenance, if one has blown or significantly dimmer than the other you need to change it at your earliest convenience. Good headlights will give you great visibility even more so when you need to turn your full beams on.
Turn your headlights on
It is important that you get into the habit of turning your headlights on. It is recommended that you turn them on as soon as its dusk when it gets slightly dark at any point in the day you should turn your headlights on to help other road users see you on the road. If the weather is bad, you will also want to increase your visibility so regardless of the time of day you will want to turn your lights on.
Have your eyesight checked
It may seem like a really simple, and easy thing to do but many peoples vision can become worse when its dark. People can be unaware of issues such as glaucoma which can drastically affect night vision. You should also never wear tinted or dark glasses when driving in the dark; many people forget to take their sunglasses off when it gets darker in the evening and wonder why their vision is not the best. If you would like more information on why you should have your eyes tested when driving read Confused.com article.
Give other road users more space
You should always take into consideration how close you are to other road users. There are several reasons to why you should give other vehicles space; you could be making the drive in front of you nervous which can make them more likely to react badly to something in the road, they could possibly be more likely to brake harder if they see something. When you are closer to the car in front of you, your headlights can dramatically affect their vision, which could be rather distracting.
Another thing you need to take into consideration when being to close to the car in front is that your vision is not great, during the day you are more likely to see something whereas in the dark you cannot react as well. If you are too close to the car, you might find yourself if a tricky situation if they do brake hard or if you needed to stop for any reason.
You also need to regulate and think about the speed you are travelling. If at all possible you should use your cruise control to help you monitor your speed.
Be hyper aware
Being hyper-aware of what is around you doesn’t mean brake at every instance, you need to make sure you are aware of other road users and what they might be doing. Keep an eye on your mirrors; it will make you aware of things that are happening on the road.
At night it is harder to see animals, and you may only spot them at the last minute, this is why we say drive slower in the dark.
Allow more time for journeys
You should always take into consideration how long a journey might take you, if you are a nervous driver when taking a journey in the dark it might be wise to set off slightly earlier than usual giving yourself enough time. You should never rush a journey no matter what time of day it is but if you are in the dark, you could miss something jumping out into the road. You can also be fixated on getting to your destinations that you become completely unaware of what is around you.
Some people prefer having their dashboard bright because they can see it better however this can cause reflection on the inside of your windscreen. Cars come with dashboard dimmer switches for a reason, the last thing you want to do is compromise your visibility, so think about reducing the brightness.
Taking these safety tips on board will help and hopefully improve your nighttime driving confidence. One thing we would say is don’t stop driving just because you are nervous, the only thing that will boost your confidence and make you a safer driver is to go out and drive in the dark. If you don’t take into consideration these steps you could be in danger of causing or being in an incident which may require Car Body Repairs in Milton Keynes.
Making sure you can is clean is vital to ensuring a safe journey, lights and windscreens should be clear of any dirt before you set off giving you maximum visibility. Be aware of your surroundings, make sure you know where other car users are on the road and where they are around you.