Top Tips For Driving At Night
Whether you’re an experienced driver, or a novice, driving at night can be challenging. This article will give you some important tips to increase your confidence when driving in the dark and at night.
1. Pre-Plan Your Journey
Are you planning on driving a route different to the one you usually complete? If so, you should take the time to plan a detailed route, ensuring you have good knowledge of the roads and area you will be travelling in. This includes researching if the area has possible hazards or obstacles such as potential animals, tight corners and bends, waterways, etc. Doing so will make you feel more capable, comfortable and confident as you know the road ahead and thus will know the areas where you have to be extra careful.
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2. Be Well Rested
Nobody expects to fall asleep at the wheel, but night time driving naturally leads to drowsiness, so everybody is at risk. Long drives and having to concentrate for long periods of time will eventually catch up to you, even if you have had a good night’s sleep. If you begin to feel tired, it is wise to stop and take a small break, and not just rely on caffeine or cold air. Being rested and alert is paramount to your and others’ safety, so you should plan your trips accordingly with planned stops at safe places and rest when required.
3. Mirror And Lights Check
Prior to starting any journey it is wise to check your mirrors and lights are all working and positioned correctly, but even more so when driving in dark conditions. Checking the headlights is the obvious one, but you shouldn’t skip over your fog lights, indicators and brake lights also. When checking your mirrors, you should make sure they are clean, positioned correctly, and not damaged. Doing these steps will increase your own visibility and your visibility to others who need to see you, making night time driving easier and safer for all.
4. Set Off In Advance
You may think you won’t encounter any traffic whilst driving at night, so you can set off a little later and make some time up. This isn’t always the case and you should avoid doing so, as you don’t want to be increasing your speed to reach your destination quicker if it is not safe and legal to do so. Setting off in advance will ensure you still arrive on time should you run into any problems.
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5. Prepare For The Worst
When driving at any time, but even more so at night, you should always be prepared for an unforeseen issue or accident. In your car, you should therefore always carry items such as a first aid kit, a high visibility jacket and a warning triangle. Should you break down you should switch your hazard lights on, put on your high-visibility jacket and place the warning triangle at the rear of your vehicle. This allows you to be as visible as possible whilst you call breakdown, reducing your risk of being hit by other road users.
6. Dazzling Headlights
If you are driving with full beam on your headlights for visibility and you see another driver coming up, you must dip your headlights immediately to avoid the oncoming driver being dazzled and unable to see. This keeps everyone safer by avoiding the possibility of an accident occurring. If you find yourself being dazzled by an oncoming car’s headlights, slow down, try to look away from the glare but still with your eyes on the road. In severe instances pull over if possible until you feel that your eyes have recovered and you can drive confidently again.
Following these tips for night time driving you should be more confident and arrive safely at your destination.
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