Many people get behind the wheel at night for various reasons. Maybe you went out for a night on the town and stayed up too late, or maybe you’re coming home from a late shift at work. For others, night driving is a recreation of the open road. Regardless of why you’re driving at night, it’s important to take safety precautions while traveling. If you’re planning to travel at night or find yourself on the road in the dark, here are six tips to keep in mind.
1. Check your car’s systems before driving at night
Before traveling at night, we recommend a quick inspection of the vehicle to ensure that all its systems are in working order. This is especially important at night, when you’ll be relying more on your car’s headlights and taillights.
Make sure your windshield is clear and your headlights are not dimmed so you have an unobstructed view of the road. Check the taillights and turn signals to make sure they are working properly. If any of your vehicle’s systems aren’t working properly, it’s best to have them repaired before you hit the road.
2. Map out your route if you plan to travel at night
If you’re planning to go somewhere new, plan your route and explore the area during the day before traveling at night. This will help you feel more confident behind the wheel when night falls. If possible, try to stick to well-lit main roads and avoid short cuts through dark, deserted areas.
3. Drive defensively at night
Defensive driving is the key to staying safe when traveling at night. Don’t forget to watch out for other drivers who may be breaking traffic rules. Be especially careful with drivers who appear impaired. According to NHTSA, drunk drivers pose a serious threat to everyone on the road. If you see someone who appears to be driving under the influence, avoid them and call 911 if necessary.
4. Check your vision before driving at night
There are a few steps you can take to ensure your vision is good for driving at night. First, get your eyes checked regularly. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure they are up-to-date.
Second, adjust your car mirrors correctly. Improperly positioned mirrors can make it difficult to see other vehicles, which can be dangerous when driving at night.
Finally, wash your car windows regularly. Dirty glass can make it difficult to see at night.
5. Dim the lighting of the instrument panel
Backlit dashboard displays can be distracting at night. Glare can also prevent your eyes from adjusting to the dark, making it harder to see.
To avoid this problem, dim the brightness of the dashboard and infotainment display. You can do this by turning a knob on the dashboard or by using the dashboard mat.
6. Use high beam when appropriate
High beams are useful when driving at night, but you should only use them when necessary. When oncoming traffic, you should switch to dipped beam. You should also avoid using high beam in foggy conditions as it can reduce visibility. Some cars have fog lights for this.
The bottom line
Driving at night doesn’t have to be difficult. By following these simple tips, you will make your task much easier. Just remember to take your time, be alert and careful. Drive safely!
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