Driving at night can prove to be a difficult task, especially considering other variables like sleep deprivation, road fatigue, demanding nighttime road conditions and general navigational obstacles through nighttime traffic. Of course, these are only a few examples of road symptoms which may affect driving, yet when these are combined with the visual difficulty of night driving, there is an adaptation required to take extra precaution in alertness and attention to the road ahead.
In fact, a driver’s depth perception, ability to distinguish color, movement, and peripheral vision are all reduced in low-light conditions. Here at Comedy Defense Driving, we are happy to give out smart tips to our fellow drivers. In order to better prepare for nighttime driving, there are plenty of techniques to remember to avoid potential dangers while traveling at night:
Clean Headlights and Windshield
As time goes on, your headlights and windshield are exposed to weather, which can incur a bit of weathering and tinting. Cleaning your windshield is generally a more obvious maintenance task because it is in direct line of sight. Headlights, on the other hand, can easily go unnoticed since the yellow tinting caused by sun exposure degrades the headlamp in a very slow manner. Cleaning your headlights and windshield with a formulated product of polish and/or wax can help remove existing tints and prevent any yellowing from occurring in the future.
It is a common technique to adjust your interior mirror to reduce headlight glare from behind you, but be sure to adjust your side mirrors as well. If you tend to drive at night the most, reducing glare caused by other cars can be a lifesaver. Although angling your side mirror slightly downward will require you to lean forward slightly for a good view before switching lanes, it is worth the benefit of protecting against a blinding glare from the car behind you.
Use The White Line
It is a bit of an antiquated tip, but a notable one nonetheless. At times when we are navigating ourselves through nighttime traffic, oncoming headlights or passing lights can indirectly catch our attention. A simple yet understated tip is to always keep your eyes on the road. Yet, being flashed by oncoming traffic can still divert our attention, even if we aim to keep attention on the road. Keeping your eyes straight on the white line can be a great way to guide your direction if you start to feel overwhelmed by flashing or distracting oncoming traffic lights.
In order to improve your visibility and safety when driving, there are few things to remember:
If visibility is reduced while driving, be cautious and limit your speed ahead. Practicing patient and disciplined lane changing can, quite literally, be a life saver, too. In clear weather, headlights should allow you to see about 350 feet ahead. This distance should give you time and room to adjust to any obstacles that may appear ahead. This also means that keeping all headlights, tail lights, signal lights, and windows clean is essential to nighttime safety.