I often talk to people who say “I don’t know the last time I drove at night” or “I hate driving at night…” Night driving is an entirely different beast from daytime driving, so it’s good that people are cautious. If you’ve got good eyesight and reflexes, however, night driving doesn’t have to be daunting. There are some simple tips you can follow to make driving at night more comfortable for you.
- Keep your windshield and headlights clean. Less dust and dirt mean a clearer view for you when headlights and streetlights are shining at you. Clean headlights speak for themselves: better, more consistent light to help you get where you need to go.
- When cars approach you at night don’t look directly at them. Look towards the white line on the side of the road to help you keep your focus.
- Reduce your speed, especially on less-traveled roads. It’s harder to see everything at night – people, animals, debris in the road…if you reduce your speed you’ll be better equipped to deal with unexpected moments like deer running into the road, or a small rock rolling onto the road.
- Watch for pedestrians. While we all like to think that, as pedestrians, we’ll wear bright reflective clothing when walking at night, that doesn’t always happen. Perhaps a person wasn’t expecting to need to run down to the store for milk, or they weren’t expecting their own vehicle to break down. Now they’re walking down the side of the road in the dark and they’re hard to see. Be alert for movement on the sides of the road.
- Don’t drink and drive. This should be obvious. Do not drink and drive. Do not indulge in marijuana and drive. If you are under the influence of drugs at all, do not drive during the day OR at night.
- Keep your distance. As we stated earlier, it’s harder to see animals or obstacles in the road at night. The car in front of you has that same issue, so if you follow too closely and they have to brake to avoid an elk in the road, you’ll end up with an accident on your hands. Give a little extra room as you would if it was raining or snowing.
- Finally, avoid as many distractions as you can at night. Turn down the music and be alert. Be aware of your surroundings. Get yourself and those around you home safely.