To most drivers, driving is second nature; to others, it is fun. However, if fun means turning your baby ride into a road beast, do not catch fun at night. Your visibility at night is impaired compared to daytime. But why should you drive slower at night, anyway?
Driving slower at night helps to keep you aware of your surroundings. Since your visibility at night is impaired, driving slower help you to be cautious and avoid accidents. Here, we’ll explain why you should drive more slowly at night and outline important tips for night driving. So grab a seat and a cup of coffee.
Important tips for night driving
Driving safely at night protects you and the passengers and prevents you from hitting other road users. Here are important tips for safe night driving.
You must be cautious when driving your baby ride, especially at night. To avoid accidents, a defensive driver should never drive when tired or drowsy. For instance, if you want to take a long trip at night, you should find time to sleep during the day.
If you get drowsy while driving, it is best to stop at gas stations, fast food establishments, or rest stops. Then, get out of the car, walk around, and get a cup of coffee and some snacks. Continue your journey once you feel better. This will help you to stay alert.
Keep off the interior lights.
When driving at night, turn off your interior lights, and dim the dashboard lights. This will help you to concentrate on the road. However, interior lights will make it challenging to focus on the road. And, glaring at the interior lights and the dark highway will be challenging to adjust your eyes easily.
The importance of driving slower at night cannot be overemphasized. Driving slower at night will help you to control the wheel if you notice any accident-inducing situation. Turning your car into a road beast at night will invariably limit your response time and extends the distances to pull over.
Turn on the headlights.
The headlight lights must be turned on when driving at night. The Highway Code states that you must turn on headlights when visibility is seriously impaired. This means you should switch on the headlamps when you can’t see 100m in front. Therefore, you should switch the headlamps when driving at night and in extremely bad weather.
Look far ahead
While staying focused on the road when driving is essential, it is more important to look far ahead when driving at night. Looking ahead while driving at night helps you see any road obstruction on time. The obstructions include the eyes of animals and reflectors from other road users like walkers and bikers.
Check your mirrors
It is essential to check your mirrors at night, especially to see cars behind you. This will enable you to get out of the highway lane, especially when you see a spirited driver coming behind you. Normally, on multiple-lane highways, slow drivers should use the low-speed lane.
In any case, you have to adjust your rearview mirror to night settings to reduce the brightness of the lights from the vehicles behind. Reducing the light brightness makes it clearer to see at night.
Pull over and rest
When making a long trip, you should stop for a rest, whether you’re driving at night or during the daytime. This keeps you relaxed and focused. Meanwhile, you’ll lack confidence on the wheel if you’re driving when tense or exhausted.
Why should you drive slower at night?
Driving slower at night increases your response time. You can easily control your vehicle when you see a sudden object or someone crossing the road. But if you’re speeding, your stopping distance will increase.
Some animals see clearly at night compared to the daytime. Such animals will often cross roads at night. And if you’re driving at high speed, you may be unable to dodge them. Hitting these animals may cause you to lose control of the wheel. But driving slower at night will increase your focus and reduce stopping distance.
If it’s raining or there are water drops on the road, you may not see the road clearly. And speeding on such pavement will cause hydroplaning. When this happens, you’ll lose control of the vehicle, and the braking distance will increase. Of course, you know what this means. It may lead to a collision.
Q: When driving at night, you should not?
Generally, driving at night is typically dangerous than driving during the day because visibility is limited even with the headlights on. This does not mean you should not drive at night. Instead, you should not drive when tired. And you should not drive without turning on the headlights, switching off the interior lights, and watching out for your surroundings. Most importantly, you should not drive at high speed.
Q: How fast should you drive at night?
While it is recommended to drive slower at night, there’s no recommended speed you should maintain at night. However, considering the dangers of night driving, I recommend driving between 50 and 80mph at night. Even with the highlights and the vehicle driving as low as 40mph, the visibility will not be as clear as daytime. So, you have to decide the speed to travel, considering the road conditions.
Q: What is the biggest hazard in night driving?
According to NSC analysis of NHTSA, rush hour, compromised night vision, fatigue, shorter days, and impaired driver vision are some risks motorists face at night. These risks become obvious during the weekends with car crashes as a result. However, you can minimize the chances of getting into a car crash by applying the important tips outlined above.
Q: Is it better to drive late at night or early in the morning?
Driving early morning after a good sleep is better than driving late at night. While you may still have compromised night vision (depending on how early), you’re probably more aware of your surroundings and not feeling drowsy. Plus, there are fewer chances that you’ll run into drunk drivers, even during the weekends.
Driving at night is more dangerous than driving at the daytime. Hence, you should be more careful when driving at night. According to a report by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatal accidents are three times more during nighttime.
This, however, does not mean we should stop driving at night. Instead, we should be more cautious during nighttime driving. Here, we’ve answered the question – why should you drive slower at night and outlined important tips to keep you safe on the road. Follow these tips religiously to minimize the chances of getting into a car crash.