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Top tips for Night Driving

Date: Mon 29th January 2018   |   Author: L Blake

The Night Time Driving Safety Guide Provides You With Important Tips So You Can Feel Safe While Driving At Night Time. Driving At Night Time Comes With Significantly More Risks Because Of Reduced Visibility. Protect Yourself Against Night Time Hazards By Finding Out More About Night Time Driving At AutoProtect.

Top 10 tips for driving at night safely

Night time driving comes with significant risks and hazards due to reduced visibility. This guide will cover a range of tips for driving at night time safely.

1. Check your eyesight regularly

It’s harder to see the road at night, particularly in wet conditions or when faced with oncoming traffic. For this reason it’s important that you wear the correct glasses for your eyesight. Regular eye tests are a must for anyone with a car and you should get tested at least once a year. You can also get special lenses that will reduce glare from other vehicle’s headlights.

2. Know how to use full beam

For safety reasons all car’s headlights are dipped as standard so that they don’t startle or blind oncoming drivers. However, when driving on roads at night that have no street lights or reflectors you should use your full beam in order to maximise your vision of the road in front of you.

Before you start turning your beams on every time you drive on a dark road, it’s important that you bear in mind these three rules:

Always turn your beam off when you’re faced with oncoming traffic. Headlights are dipped as standard for a reason and by using full beam you can seriously reduce the vision of your fellow drivers and startle them. On particular tricky roads, this could cause an accident.
Avoid using the full beam on corners. Using full beam on bends can lead to a ‘cut across’ oncoming traffic. So make sure to dip your headlights within good time when approaching a bend.
Avoid using a full beam when overtaking another vehicle. The safest way to overtake a vehicle whilst driving at night is to dip the headlights when approaching the vehicle. Once you have overtaken the vehicle it is now safe to turn the full beam back on.

3. Be careful of glare on the roads

During night time driving it is easy to get distracted by the glare of the road. Bright lights from lamp posts and other vehicles can seriously affect your concentration and vision. Therefore aim to keep your eyes on the road and your gaze away from oncoming traffic and other lights on the road.

driving at night

4. Don’t use sat navs that cause distracting reflection

Sat navs can be distracting at the best of times. During the night, it’s important that you position your sat nav so that it doesn’t cause any reflection on the windscreen and doesn’t impair your vision. It’s also worth turning the brightness down or utilising any night time settings that it may have.

5. Ensure interior lights are off to avoid a distraction

It’s not illegal to drive at night time with the car interior lights switched on, but it’s important that they don’t cause any glare on the windscreen which may impair your vision. If passengers need to use interior lights, they’ll be safer to do so sitting in the back. As a general rule though, it’s worth keeping them switched off so that you can focus on the road.

6. Make sure your brake lights work

To check this you’ll need a friend. Park your car on a flat part of the road, turn the engine on, press the brake down and then release it. Do all brake lights come on and go off as they should? If so, you’re good to go. If not, you’ll need to get those repaired before driving anywhere.

7. Keep car windscreens clean

Dirt and debris on your windscreen will impair visibility at any time of day. At night, it can make glare from headlights and street lights even worse. Keeping your car windscreen clean will improve your visibility of the road and make it easier to spot potential hazards. It’s important that you wash your car regularly and keep your vehicle topped up with screen wash.

8. Watch out for surprise fog

It is advised that you turn your fog lights on when your visibility is reduced to less than 100 metres. Before driving your vehicle in bad weather, you should familiarise yourself with the location of the fog light button. When driving in fog, you should avoid using the full beam as the fog reflects the light of the full beam, reducing your visibility further. 

9. Take regular breaks

When driving at night time, your eyes can become strained due to reduced visibility. You’re also more likely to feel fatigued and tired during darkness, increasing the likelihood of falling asleep at the wheel. Take regular breaks to ensure you remain alert whilst driving. It’s recommended that you stop at least every two hours during long journeys.

If you feel yourself becoming tired, you should take a power nap to reduce the risk of you falling asleep whilst driving. It’s recommended that you take a nap in the passenger seat or back seats and ensure you’re parked in a safe place to do so. Falling asleep for just a split second can result in fatal consequences for you, your passengers and other road users.

10. Drink caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that can help maintain levels of alertness during the evening. Although you should never drive if you’re tired, caffeine can ensure you remain sharp during night time driving. Regular coffee stops are highly recommended. You should also keep a can of energy drink handy, just in case.

We hope you found the night time safety guide informative and now feel more prepared for driving at night time. AutoProtect has a range of helpful guides that will help improve your driving and ensure your vehicle lasts longer.