Whether you are a highly-experienced driver or recently passed, driving at night can be a scary and potentially dangerous experience. This is because there are countless opportunities for error, partly due to the darkness, but also because of human interaction. This is why we are here to help, where we have created a simple guide of a few of the best driving tricks and tips to keep in mind to help you drive safely at night.
Use your headlights
It should go without saying, it’s vital that you use your headlights, however many road users fail to correctly use them appropriately. It’s a legal requirement that both your rear and front headlights are working efficiently for your own safety, but to also ensure that your vehicle is visible at night for other road users. Particularly when driving through country roads, high beams are always recommended in order to gain a better view of the road ahead and any road signs. You just need to make sure to turn them off once you encounter another vehicle to avoid dazzling the driver.
Keep your car clean
Although telling drivers to keep their car clean doesn’t seem like a tip or trick to driving at night, there are key components that should be clean to ensure you’re safe to drive. One of the most notable areas is your windows because if they are dirty, it can significantly impact your ability to view outside of your vehicle. Likewise with your headlights, if they are too dirty it can reduce the light being produced, further decreasing your ability to view the road ahead.
Regardless if you have already passed your test or still learning to drive, it’s always beneficial to practice driving in the dark with a qualified driving instructor. By completing one of our advanced driving courses at our driving school, you will be able to gain additional support and guidance by driving at night with one of our approved driving instructors who will be able to critique, but also praise, your driving capabilities whilst you drive at night during your driving lessons.
Don’t drive when tired
Driving tired can be very dangerous regardless of the time of day, but more so at night due to the dark which is more comfortable on the eyes – further increasing the chances of falling asleep at the wheel. It has been proven that two of the best approaches whilst driving at night is having the window open and chewing gum, as they will keep you preoccupied, as well as allowing cold – fresh air to keep you alert. That being said, if you are feeling extremely tired, make sure that you stop at the next resting station and sleep until you are prepared to drive once again.
According to the National Safety Council’s research, it’s estimated that the chances of a fatal crash are three times greater at night, which is why it’s vital that you are prepared and able to drive at night. An additional report by the NHTSA stated that around 100,000 police-reported crashes were due to the driver’s fatigue, highlighting the importance of not driving whilst tired. Furthermore, despite only 25% of our driving is at night, around 50% of all traffic deaths occur at night, a staggering amount due to the lack of time spent driving at this time.
Out intention of showing you all of these statistics aren’t to scare you or put you off driving at night, but instead to show you the importance of driving safely and utilising our tricks and driving tips. The team at Car Captain are always available to talk about the most important tips, as well as suggest suitable driving courses that can assist you in driving at night. Find out more by heading over to the Car Captain website or by giving us a call today on 020 7099 1232.