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5 Tips for Driving at Night

blog image of car on a dark road; blog title: 5 Tips for Driving at Night

Depending on your job, you may need to do a lot of driving at night. Or perhaps you like to leave in the wee hours to go on family vacation, so you can arrive at a decent time the next day. Some drivers do prefer night driving because the roads are more open. Even so, night driving comes with a lot of setbacks and risks you need to be aware of. With the vision impairments and accidents associated with night driving, drivers should take the following night driving tips into consideration.  

Avoid Overdriving Your Vehicle’s Headlights 

The term “overdriving” refers to when you’re driving so fast that your stopping time is farther than you can see with your headlights. This is dangerous, especially if there are large vehicles like semi-trucks on the road. Make sure that your vehicle’s headlights are clean and have functioning bulbs so their beam of light shines as far as it can. Also, learn your approximate stopping time in relation to how far your lights illuminate in order to avoid overdriving and risking crashing into anything ahead of you.  

Don’t Look Directly at Other Sources of Light 

Oncoming headlights and other bright light sources can end up temporarily blinding you to the road and what’s ahead. Be sure to avoid looking directly at these. When you’re going through lighting changes (from a well-lit, populated highway to one that is much darker) allow your eyes to adjust before increasing the speed at which you’re traveling and use your brights if you’re away from other vehicles. 

Watch Out for Wildlife 

Your headlights can pick up the retinas of animals before your eyes can register their bodies. If you see two small glowing spots in the distance, slow down as much as you can, as an animal is most likely ahead. If the situation calls for you to choose between your safety and the animal’s, choose yours first. But remember that crashing into an animal at a high speed can greatly endanger you and cause serious damage to your vehicle. If you cannot swerve safely, you must slow down significantly.  

Don’t Drive Drowsy  

Driving at night can be tiring. If you aren’t well rested, your driving will inherently become impaired. If you are too fatigued, find a rest stop and take a break, or switch off with another person in the car — night driving is risky enough, so you’ll need all of your alertness to make the trip safely during this time. 

Get Your Eyes Checked 

If you haven’t done so already, it may be beneficial for you to schedule an eye exam. The frequency at which you should get one depends on your age and race. An ophthalmologist should be able to tell you what is recommended for your vision health.

Remember, traffic accidents and fatalities are greater at night. It’s of the utmost importance that you drive carefully when your vision and driving ability is impaired by the factors of the night. If you need auto insurance, call one of our agents today.