Driving in the daytime and driving at night might, at first glance, seem like the exact same thing. The truth, however, is that driving at night is much more difficult – and dangerous – than driving when the sun is shining (or even than driving on a cloudy day, come to that).
Some people choose not to drive at night at all because they don’t enjoy it in the least, but for others, there is no choice. If you have to drive at night, then it will pay to understand how to keep yourself – and other road users – as safe as possible. Read on to find out more.
The very first thing that must be mentioned when talking about driver safety is insurance. No one should ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle without adequate insurance, and since it is possible to get car insurance with motoring convictions as well as a variety of other conditions that you might have thought made it impossible, there is no excuse. Make sure you have your insurance in place before you drive, and you can help everyone on the roads.
Check Your Headlights
When do you ever see the front of your car with its headlights on? The answer is hardly ever, perhaps never. This means that, although you might think your headlights are doing a good job because they are lighting up enough of the road for you to see by, they might actually be dangerous.
Headlights can point in different directions; they can be too low or too high. Headlights can also shine too brightly, or not brightly enough, and sometimes when one of the bulbs blows you just don’t see it because the other light is lighting your way.
The problem here is that not only is your vision potentially obscured, but you might cause a problem for oncoming vehicles too. If your lights aren’t pointing in the right directions, other drivers could be confused as to where you are coming from, causing them to make poor choices. Or you might be dazzling them, or if the lights are not bright enough they might not see you until it is too late. So check your lights and ensure they are doing their job effectively.
Dim The Dashboard
Most cars, even older ones, will have a switch that allows the driver to dim the lights on the dashboard when driving at night. This might seem like an odd thing to do since typically when it’s dark you will want to see as much light as possible, but in a car this is the worst thing you can do. If the light right in front of your face is too bright, it can blind you to the road ahead and compromise the distance you can see. As well as this, the time it takes for your eyes to adjust when you look at the dashboard and then back to the road will be longer if the lights there are too bright.
Before you set off on your night-time journey, make sure you take the time to adjust the brightness settings on your dashboard to a level you are comfortable with.