Eight Night Driving Tips for Your Safety
Driving at night requires far more caution than driving during the day. No doubt roads look more beautiful at night compared to the day and they are quite empty too. But there are no two ways to it that they are certainly more dangerous as well. The main difference between night and day driving is of course visibility. Our vision, after sunset, is limited not just by the low colour contrast, but it is also further restricted because of the glare of headlights from oncoming vehicles. And hence, it is very important that we keep certain thumb rules in mind to make our night drive enjoyable as well as safe.
Check and cross check all the lights of the car to make sure that they are working fine. From the headlights, brake lights, indicators to even fog lights and others shouldn’t be fused or dirty as this will hamper the visibility of the driver. It would also fail to alert other vehicles around you of your presence.
Clean windows and windscreens
Keeping these clean is of utmost importance to help the driver see the road clearly. To make sure that the windscreen is clean, it’s important that the windscreen washer is always filled and the wipers are working perfectly.
All the latest cars are now equipped with rearview mirrors which have day and night settings. With these settings, one can change the angle of the reflective surface which in turn helps avoid glare from the headlights of vehicles behind you. Along with the rearview mirror, the ORVMs (Outside Rear-View Mirror/Wing Mirror) should also be adjusted in such a fashion that high beams of headlights do not blind the driver.
While we can’t stress the importance of driving slow at night enough, it is especially crucial on Indian streets because of cycles and pedestrians, which are very difficult to spot at night. Also, it is advisable that you should maintain a healthy distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you to avoid any mishap in case of panic stops.
Understand the use of high beams and dippers
Avoid driving with a high beam in crowded areas and blinding fellow drivers. However, in case of a clear road, especially if the lights on the road are dim, it is advisable to use high beam. However, as soon as you see a vehicle approaching, it is recommended to switch to low beam even if the oncoming driver doesn’t. There is no harm in being courteous even if others aren’t. When the approaching vehicles don’t lower the beam, don’t stare into the lights because that could blur your vision or cause partial blindness even after the vehicle has crossed. Instead, try focusing on the white line on the road to help you drive on your side of the road.
Learn to flash dipper
Along with the use of the horn, it’s vital that you learn the importance of flashing a dipper. We have become very used to honking and tend to ignore it. And because you might have drunk drivers around you, it’s important that you are extra careful. Yes, don’t blind approaching drivers by continuously flashing headlights, but use your dipper only while overtaking, turning or while you’re at a crossing.
Be careful of drunk drivers
Even if you don’t do it, others might. The basic rule of driving in India is to drive defensively rather than aggressively. Drunk drivers might not be swerving or speeding, but they are very prone to missing stop signs or signals and sometimes they might just switch between lanes without any warning.
Never drive at night if you are tired
One shouldn’t drive at all when tired, but this rule should be followed stringently especially during the night, because night driving requires a lot of concentration and diligence. In case you feel tired, get off the main road, make a quick stop, probably at a petrol station, stretch yourself and take a walk, drink some water and wash your face. Don’t gamble a night drive in this situation because if you lose this bet, it may end up costing you your life. Be careful, be diligent and drive safe.