Driving at night demands extra attention and caution. With reduced visibility, potential fatigue and an increased likelihood of encountering impaired drivers, it’s crucial to equip yourself with the right knowledge and necessary safety precautions. When it comes to ensuring an enjoyable and safe journey, we never want you to be left in the dark. We’ve put together our top 10 essential tips for nighttime driving so that you can feel safe and secure on the road.
1. Ensure proper vehicle maintenance
Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is in top-notch condition. Regularly check and clean your headlights, taillights, indicators, brakes and tires. Properly functioning lights are crucial for enhancing visibility, alerting other drivers of your presence and ensuring a safe journey on the road.
2. Adjust your mirrors
To reduce the glare from headlights behind you, adjust your rearview mirror to the “night” setting. It’s also important to ensure your side mirrors are properly aligned to optimise your field of vision.
3. Keep your windshield clean
A dirty windshield can significantly reduce visibility, especially at night. To ensure a safe journey, regularly clean both the inside and outside of your windshield to remove any smudges, streaks or dirt that can impair your vision.
4. Use your headlight wisely
To ensure you have a safe journey, always drive with your headlights on at night, and check that they’re properly aligned. However, try to avoid switching on your brights when there is oncoming traffic or when driving behind another vehicle, as it can impair the vision of other drivers on the road.
5. Maintain a safe following distance
Increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you at night. Reduced visibility can make it difficult to react in time. So, drive safely by maintaining a safe following distance
(a minimum of 4 seconds) to allow yourself more time to respond to sudden changes or hazards on the road.
6. Stay alert and focused
Driving at night can be tiring, which means that the risk of getting into an accident is higher. If it’s a long journey ahead, take regular breaks, stay hydrated and avoid having heavy meals before getting behind the wheel. If you feel excessively drowsy, it’s best to find a safe place to rest until you’re alert enough to continue on your safe journey ahead.
7. Watch out for wildlife
Of course, this tip is entirely dependent on where you live or the area you’re driving through. It’s important to remember that wild animals are more active at night, which increases the chances of encountering them on the road. Be cautious and drive safely through areas known for wildlife, and reduce your speed to give yourself ample time to react if an animal crosses your path.
8. Be cautious of impaired drivers
Driving at night often means sharing the road with reckless drivers. Stay vigilant for signs of erratic driving, such as swerving or abrupt speed changes. Drive safely by keeping a safe distance from these vehicles.
9. Avoid distractions
Minimise distractions inside your vehicle to ensure you have a safe journey on the road. Dim your dashboard lights, put your phone on silent mode and avoid engaging in activities that may divert your attention from driving.
10. Get your eyes tested
The transition from daytime to nighttime can pose a challenge as your eyes have to constantly adapt to the diminishing light. If you’re experiencing problems with your vision, it’s best to book an eye test to ensure you’re wearing the correct glasses so that you can drive safely. It’s also a good idea to get lenses with an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare.
Remember, staying alert, being prepared and prioritising safety should always be your top priorities when driving at night. With these tips for nighttime driving, you can ensure a safe journey ahead.