Driving at night is more dangerous than driving during the day. Why you ask? Well the simple answer is because it’s dark. 99% of a drivers reaction time depends on vision and clarity of vision. Depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision are compromised after sundown. Older drivers have even greater difficulties seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year old.
Other drivers headlights can be blinding even when they don’t have their high beams on. A simple trick for this is to focus on the white line at the side of the road instead of staring into the other drivers headlights.
Here are some other tips for night driving:
Prepare your car for night driving. Clean headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows (inside and out) once a week, more often if necessary.
Have your headlights properly aimed. Mis-aimed headlights blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.
Avoid smoking when you drive. Smoke’s nicotine and carbon monoxide hamper night vision.
If there is any doubt, turn your headlights on. Lights will not help you see better in early twilight, but they’ll make it easier for other drivers to see you. Being seen is as important as seeing.
Reduce your speed and increase your following distances. It is more difficult to judge other vehicle’s speeds and distances at night.
Don’t overdrive your headlights. You should be able to stop inside the illuminated area. If you’re not, you are creating a blind crash area in front of your vehicle.
When following another vehicle, keep your headlights on low beams so you don’t blind the driver ahead of you.
Keep headlights on one hour before dusk and one hour after dawn to increase your vehicle’s visibility.
Observe night driving safety as soon as the sun goes down. Twilight is one of the most difficult times to drive, because your eyes are constantly changing to adapt to the growing darkness.
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