Some safety tips to make driving at night easier
How does that scenic drive in the day turn into a blurry, winding nightmare at night?
Your eyes feel like they suddenly got five times worse as you turn onto that familiar side street at night.
Driving at night is uncomfortable for many people. But why?
In this article, you’ll discover why navigating in the dark tends to be difficult for some. And we’ll uncover some obvious and maybe not-so-obvious ways to make it less stressful.
Why is Driving at Night so Hard?
There are three common factors behind your nighttime driving difficulty:
- It’s dark – you are not alone in having problems seeing in low-light conditions. Everything is a little less obvious when the sun is not shining. You can’t tell the difference between the road and the ditch at night. The darkness can even create shadows and make the roadway less distinct. Throw some rain on the situation and you’re about to stay home.
This leads to the next issue with night driving:
- Less time to react – studies have shown there is a connection between tiredness and nighttime driving. The element of sleep deprivation can then lead to higher incidents of accidents on the road because your reflexes or visual reaction time are slower.
- Glare from bright lights – ironically, the lights that are there to help you see the road ahead are the very same lights that blind you. In fact, the glare when you’re night driving can affect your color recognition and even your peripheral vision. Sometimes the headlights of another car can bounce off your windows and cause blinding reflection.
All of these problems can end in possible accidents and injury.
How to make night driving better
You don’t have to change your plans because it’s dusk already.
Count the following list as your defensive driving checklist. These are techniques to optimize your driving at night, but they also work for severe weather conditions like heavy rain or snowfall.
- Dim Your Dashboard as low as you can handle. As you move away from urban areas, you will find your eyes will strain less with less light inside the vehicle.
- Don’t Look at Oncoming Headlights. Other traffic will help you find and stay on the roadway at night. Follow the traffic in front of you to help see further down the road. Also, use your high beams, but switch to low beams for oncoming traffic.
- Lower Your Speed. Consider your already restricted view and the eye strain from other cars’ headlights as a reason to decrease the speed. Especially as you get onto the main highways or byways where you are relying on your headlights to guide you. Keep it five to eight miles per hour (five to 10 km) under the speed limit. Remember, road markings aren’t going to be so helpful in the dark.
- Clean Your Windows and Mirrors. Use glass cleaner to remove any dust, debris, and bugs. This will help prevent glare and simply helps you to see better.
- Focus on street signs. They tend to be reflective which can help you track the roadway better. Also houses that line the roadway can help in the same way. The glow that shines from their front porches or even from inside, can assist in animating the roadway.
- Don’t bother with “night-driving” glasses. The yellow-tinted glasses are touted as a solution for driving at night because they feature an anti-reflective coating. That coating is meant to decrease reflections from streetlights and oncoming headlights. But, studies show that these special glasses don’t really improve visibility for night drivers and can, in fact, “… slightly worsen performance…” Instead…
- Get your eyes checked. If you find night-time driving especially bad, you may have astigmatism. It can make lights and objects appear blurry or fuzzy. You may also notice halos around them. If this is a problem for you, an eye doctor may add a non-glare coating to your lenses to help with astigmatism. This should reduce the light entering your eye, which will result in seeing clearer at night.
Driving at night is a stressful situation for many people. Issues with reduced visibility can make night driving not only nail-biting but can lead to accidents and injury in worst-case scenarios. But, it doesn’t have to be that way if you can pinpoint what exactly is behind the fear. Then you can make changes to improve the experience so you don’t have to cancel plans when the sun goes down.
Make sure your car is in good condition at all times. Consider getting your car inspected at Tirekickers.Biz.