Safety Tips For Night Driving
- It’s vital to have your sight checked regularly as this will show up any underlying eye problems such as glaucoma that may affect your night vision. Never wear dark or tinted lenses for night driving.
- The Institute of Advanced Motorists advises turning your headlights on before sunset and keeping them on for an hour after sunrise so it’s easier for other drivers to see you in twilight. Make sure all your exterior lights are clean and working properly and keep your interior lights turned off. And although it’s always important to make sure you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear, after dark this is especially the case.
- On rural roads, drive on full beam whenever possible but dip your lights when faced with another road user to avoid dazzling them. “And if you’re dazzled by an oncoming car then avoid looking at the headlights,’ urges driving instructor Colin Baker. “Keep your attention on the left-hand kerb and try to keep your speed steady. Avoid driving along at 50mph, dropping to 40mph when there’s oncoming traffic and then speeding up again. It makes it very confusing for drivers travelling behind you. It’s better to aim for a speed you can maintain such as 45mph and sticking to it, even if there are times you could go faster.”
- Make sure your car windows are clean, inside and out. Dirty windows will increase glare from other vehicles and are more prone to steaming up.
- Read the road ahead for signs of oncoming drivers – glimmers of light at the top of hills and at bends could be the headlights of other vehicles, giving you prior warning. And watch out for pedestrians and cyclists – after dark they can be more difficult to spot, especially if they’re not wearing reflective clothing.
- It’s always advisable to take regular breaks when driving long distances, but this is even more vital when you’re driving overnight. Stop for a rest at least every two hours and drink strong coffee to keep yourself alert.
- If you don’t feel confident driving at night, booking a lesson with a driving instructor who can give you some tips would be an excellent idea.