Driving in and of itself is a potentially dangerous activity, no matter what time of day it is. Not only do you have to take care to follow rules, but you also need to have quick reflexes and a good sense of other drivers around you to avoid accidents.
Compared to driving in the day time though, night drives are significantly more prone to ending up in an accident. With less light to see the road ahead with its hidden obstacles and fellow drivers who you cannot be sure are following the rules of the road, these tips will give you some ideas on how to stay safe out there.
1. Wear Night Vision Glasses for Driving
Whether you have poor night vision due to any health problems or you just want to enhance the way you see in low light conditions, night glasses for driving will give you an optical boost. Also as we age, our vision starts to deteriorate and the reasons to have a pair of these glasses start to become more prevalent.
Night glasses come in different tints, but yellow is best as it helps to better distinguish objects in low-light conditions. These special lenses do a great job at reducing glare from whatever light source you come across and protecting your eyes from UV light. They also protect against blue light from the sun and headlights that are said to be harmful to your vision.
2. Don’t Stare into The Oncoming Lights
While driving at night, you will inevitably come in contact with lights coming at you from drivers moving in the opposing direction. I’m sure everyone has had an instance where they looked into a bright light like the sun or a lamp and was temporarily blinded. Been there, done that myself!
But when an oncoming car actually has its lights right in your face, do your best to avert your gaze to the side and use your peripheral vision to see what is ahead of you. There are times when you are in an area where the high beam lights are needed, but it is in everyone’s best interest to turn them off around other drivers. Especially when behind them or nearing them from the opposite direction.
3. Stay Awake and Alert
Night time driving is not only dangerous because of the limited light and vision, but also because of the fact that you are driving around the time you usually are sleeping. Fatigue from earlier in your day and the onset of tiredness that creeps in on you while driving at night is a hazard waiting to happen.
When it comes to staying awake while driving, one of the most common and effective ways is to get some caffeine in your system which will give you that boost to stay alert. Playing some energetic music also will help as it will keep you interested and stimulate your mind.
Another effective solution to stay alert while driving is chewing gum. Chewing keeps your facial muscles moving and increases blood flow to the head. And if you can get caffeinated gum, then you can get the benefits of both chewing gum and caffeine together which will make you feel more awake.
Also, do not turn up the heat for too long inside the car because it causes dehydration which then leads to further fatigue and drowsiness. So you can roll your windows down for a while as you are driving to get some of that cool, crisp and refreshing air in your face which will keep you going.
4. Be Aware of Other Drivers
Probably the most important thing you need to consider when out driving at night is the behavior of other drivers out there with you. The reality is that you will have a much higher chance of encountering people under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or as mentioned before, driver’s fatigue.
Some people also think they can get away with breaking a few of the rules of the road because there is a lesser number of cars out at night. Which clearly suggests that you should always be cautious and alert when on the road. Don’t assume a car is going to do what you may think is common sense. It is best to drive slower and in a more defensive manner, especially in low-lights and heavy traffic areas.
5. Limit All Distractions
At one time or another, a lot of people have thought that one quick, little glance at their phone won’t hurt. Many people now have small LED screens installed in their cars which are always distracting the driver with one thing or another. Some people have handled these distractions successfully without a problem while others have had that one glance turn into possibly fatal accidents.
So you should never look down at any screens other than the car’s windscreen or get distracted to takes your eyes off the road while driving.
At any time of the day, this is always the best practice. Night time especially is when you need to be the most attentive. If you have people in the car with you, have them do the navigation duties to be safer.
6. Avoid Driving under Influence of Medicine
Whenever you are taking heavy medication or anti-allergic medicines, their side-effects tend to make you sleepy. So in any such cases, avoid driving especially during the night unless absolutely necessary. Try to get a taxi or someone else to drive you because nodding off for even just a moment while driving can spell disaster for many.