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5 ways to help drive safer at night

by | Oct 28, 2013 | Car Care Tips, Night Driving, Road Trips, Safe Driving

As the days get shorter, the chance that you will be driving at night increases. While driving, you will want to be as safe as possible. Almost ninety percent of your reaction ability while driving is relied on sight. At night, your depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision all decline. Even if you do not notice it, you are less alert at night when you drive than you are during the day. To help drive safe, you also need to be aware of the other drivers on the road. Drunk drivers, sleep deprived drivers, and even animals are a few things to keep an eye out for as you drive at night.

Stay alert while driving

While driving at night, you will want to make sure to be as alert as possible to help avoid any accidents. Before driving make sure to avoid any medications that might make you drowsy. It is also important to make sure you are well rested before driving at night, especially if you are driving for a long distance. You can also have someone ride with you, to help keep you awake or switch drivers.

Lights should be clear and clean

The lights are the most important part of your vehicle at night. They help you to see as you drive, as well as having others see you. Make sure to inspect the headlights, taillights, and blinkers to make sure they are working properly and illuminate the correct areas. Make sure the lenses of the headlights are clean and clear. Grime and other debris can impair the amount you can see on the road in front of you. It is important to have the brake lights working well also. This gives the drivers behind you enough warning and reaction time when you have to stop gradually or suddenly.

Reduce the glare from other lights

Another way to help drive safe at night is to know how to reduce the glare from the lights of other drivers. If a vehicle is approaching you from the opposite direction with the lights on bright, you can divert your gaze down to the side. You can use the lane marker or painted median strip as a guide as they pass. If someone is behind you with the lights on bright, you can use the reduced glare setting on your rearview mirror.

Remember your safety when you use devices and gadgets

Part of being an alert driver at night is being able to put down the gadgets and devices as you drive. If you need to use your cell phone or other device, make sure you come to a complete stop at a safe and convenient place. A cell phone, GPS navigational system, or even an integrated system like OnStar should be used when you are stopped. This can help you from becoming distracted while driving and can also help you to prevent an accident.

Have an emergency kit in your vehicle

Keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle can help reduce stress if your vehicle encounters an issue at night. If a tire goes flat or a belt breaks, you will want to have some items so you can help identify the problem. Items such as jumper cables, extra oil, tools like wrenches, bottle water, a granola or snack bar, and flashlights can all become handy in an emergency situation.