Night driving safety is important, so remove those stylish sunglasses for women or men and turn on the headlights! There’s plenty you can do to make night driving safer. These helpful tips for driving in the dark will help you enjoy a smoother ride.
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Check Your Vision
Consider an annual eye exam for safer driving. Your eye doctor can check for conditions that may affect your vision. At the same time, the doctor can tell you if you need a new pair of eyeglasses. Do you plan on wearing eyewear while you drive? The lenses should be safe for the dark. Take off your reading glasses for women or men before driving. Readers won’t help you see when you drive at night. Instead, you’re better off wearing anti-reflective eyeglasses that reduce glare and increase visibility.
A pair of bluelight readers are acceptable if they have no correction lenses with an anti-reflective coating. Bluelight eyeglasses are so stylish and affordable that you can shop for a pair exclusively for night driving. The best part about bluelight glasses is that you can also wear them to filter some of the high-energy visible blue light emitted from your digital devices. Don’t forget that your vision also includes how you can see in your windshield and rearview mirrors. Inspect them before you drive, including their positioning. It’s also an excellent time to make sure they’re clean.
Don’t Drive When You’re Tired
There is such a thing as being too tired to drive. According to research published in the Nature and Science of Sleep, the chance of getting into a vehicle crash is approximately 30% greater if you’re drowsy. Moreover, the CDC says that drowsy driving makes it harder to pay attention to the road. When you drive drowsy, your reaction time is slower. You’re also more at risk if you suddenly need to steer or brake. Signs that you’re too tired to drive include drowsiness and fatigue, so stop for rest if you’re yawning or have heavy eyelids. Prevent drowsy driving by planning your route ahead of time.
Inspect Your Vehicle
The last thing you need is a flat tire or broken tail light in the dark, so make sure your vehicle is in good condition before you drive. Do a visual inspection from the front to the back of the car, including tires and headlights. Flick on your high beams so you know they’re ready to go. Then, check turn signals and hazard lights to ensure they’re working correctly and bright enough to see in the dark.
Your windshield wipers are important for safe night driving, especially if rain or snow is in the forecast. Inspect them for damage and replace them before you head out. Now it’s time to move to the inside of the car. Turn the car on to check for dashboard warning lights or gauges that spell trouble. No matter where you’re traveling, making adjustments and topping off fluids in the daytime is always easier.
Drive with Caution
Even if you’re well-rested and wearing the proper eyewear, night driving requires focus and caution. When you hit the road at night, consider driving slower than usual. Drivers can take it easy when the roads aren’t as busy as in the daytime. As you drive, leave ample space between yourself and other drivers. The extra room will help if traffic starts to slow down or an accident occurs in front of you. Always use caution when going around sharp turns and curves. Abide by signs that show a slower speed limit, especially when there is bad weather or you’re driving treacherous terrain.
Watch for wild animals that may run or scurry out onto the road. Deer are notorious for coming face-to-face with drivers at twilight. A traffic accident with a deer can cause significant damage to any vehicle. Cautious driving will give you more time to brake if you notice a running animal. Keep a lookout for kids and pets on neighborhood streets. Pedestrians may be walking or running. Watch out for bicyclists and motorcyclists pulling out into the road. Nighttime driving also puts you at risk of running over debris or potholes. A good pair of headlights will help you see and avoid dangerous areas.
Have a Plan
Always have a plan for your night driving. Decide what you will do if your vehicle breaks down or you experience bad weather. Consider signing up for roadside assistance before your trip so you’re never alone in an emergency. Inviting someone for the ride may be helpful so you stay safe and avoid drowsy driving. Reserve a place to stay if you’re taking a road trip. Plenty of hotels and rental homes allow for one-night stays and late-night check-ins. Share the driving duties if you’re traveling for hours. It never hurts to map your route in detail so you can use the roads with plenty of gas stations and food options.
Now it’s time to think about supplies, so pack snacks and water in your trunk or backseat just in case you must change a tire or wait for a tow. It’s also helpful to have a flashlight and jumper cables with you. Don’t forget to have first aid supplies and reflective signs. A reflective vest can help you stay safe if you must get out of your car on the side of the road.
Stay Safer While Driving at Night
You can take practical steps today to drive safer at night. The time you take to plan your trip and bring the right supplies will make you feel more at ease no matter where you’re going. Make the trip more fun with tasty snacks and stylish eyewear. Don’t forget to enjoy the view or schedule a few stops. There’s plenty of value to driving at night, including quieter roads and less traffic. When you use these safety tips, you may find that night driving is your favorite.