How to drive safely at night-time

By : Raya Ivanova

After the sun sets beneath the horizon, and the world surrounding us sinks into dusk, travelling along the roads in the evening could turn into real challenge even to the most experienced drivers. That is why these pieces of advice would cast light on our way to safety and would help us to get well-equipped for night travels. 

We would introduce you to priceless pieces of advice and hints that would help us in ruling over the roads even at night-time. What we should be aware of starts from optimizing the lighting system of the vehicle, to mastering our skills for night driving. So, let’s button up the safety belt and switch the headlamps on in order to endeavour an expedition that would turn driving in the evening from unnerving and stressful trial – into safe and pleasant cruise!

What dangers underpin night driving?

The data show that the risk of participating in accident with lethal end is trice as higher at night-time. This troublesome statistics underlines the need for the drivers to undertake additional protective measures while travelling onto the roads at night. The main reason behind the increased risk levels in the dark hours is the lowered visibility, which arrives after darkness sets in. The limited visibility decreases our ability to see and react to prospective dangers, hence it is essential to learn the practices of safe driving and make sure our vehicle is suitably equipped for driving in the dark. Additionally, night driving raises some challenges such as fatigue, blindness, incapable drivers or ones consuming alcohol, whereas all of them could bring about possibly dangerous situations on the road.

How to be driving safely in the dark?

The most obvious challenge when driving at night-time is the decreased visibility, which directly impacts driver’s capability to perceive and react to prospective dangers. At night, our eyes need time in order to adapt to the absence of light and even in the case of duly operating headlamps, seeing further along the road could be difficult. 

Another challenge is about getting blinded by the oppositely moving vehicles and the street lighting in the evening, which could cause temporary blindness and hinder our visibility. This issue gets more important in elderly drivers that often experience eyesight decline in poor light.

Additionally, fatigue is significant challenge of night driving. Our natural circadian rhythms could make us feel sleepy in the late night hours that results in slower reaction time and decreased capacity for concentration on the road. Plus, night driving could include working with incapable drivers that pose significant risk to themselves, as well as to the other traffic participants. 

When we are aware of challenges and undertake measures for mitigating them, we could improve our safety and safety of other traffic participants while driving in the evening.

Are there mistakes we need to avoid?

The good maintenance and accurate vehicle adjustment for night driving are essential to our safety on the road. 

The first step is to check the lighting system of our vehicle: headlamps, brake lights and indicators in order to make sure that they operate accurately. We should immediately replace all burnt bulbs and regularly check headlamps’ cleanliness because pollutions and dirtiness could decrease their effectiveness. The accurate headlamps’ adjustment is also essential in night driving. The inaccurately adjusted headlamps could influence our visibility and potentially blind the drivers in the opposite direction. The manual of our vehicle contains guidelines how to regulate our headlamps. Additionally, it would be possible to consult a vehicle workshop in order to be sure that they are suitably directed.

In addition to the lighting system of our vehicle, it is possible to maintain other components as well. It is important to keep the windscreen clean from the inside, as well as outside, since dirtiness and condense could cause glares and deteriorate our visibility. We should regularly check the condition of windscreen wipers for signs of wear-out and replace them if necessary, in order to ensure optimal work in rainy conditions. Additionally, driving with quality tires considering the season and the maintenance of their accurate pressure is essential to road adhesion and control, especially in wet conditions that are most frequent at night.

What road characteristics we should pay attention at night-time?

A simple yet effective technique while travelling at night is to use the driving lamps of our vehicle if there is no traffic in the opposite direction. The driving lamps could significantly improve our visibility in the evening and allow us to see further along the road and notice easily prospective dangers. It is important not to forget switching once again to dipped beam when we see vehicles in front of us so that we do not blind the other drivers. Another way to improve our visibility is to decrease blindness due to lights at the dashboard. We could decrease its brightness to comfortable level that allows us to see the dashboard without creating too much glares that could deteriorate our visibility frontwards. When driving in urban regions it is good to pay attention to road signalling and the signs that could provide valuable information about forthcoming turns, crossroads and potential dangers. Outside the city we need to be especially careful for animals crossing the road since they are hard to notice in the dark and could cause serious accidents if hit.

Undertaking defensive driving techniques in the evening is essential to ensuring road safety. Firstly, it is good to cut our speed down, take into consideration the limited visibility and the extended reaction time, which is necessary to react to prospective dangers. While driving with lower speed, we get more time for perception and reaction to all kinds of hindrances or changes in road conditions. Keeping safe distance to the vehicle in front of us is another important technique of defensive driving, at night-time. This distance allows us to have sufficient time to react if the vehicle in front of us suddenly stops or encounters a problem. 

In order to become a confident and safe driver in the evening, we need to find out the unique challenges when driving in the dark and undertake active measures in order to prepare ourselves and our vehicle. While following these pieces of advice, we would be able to significantly improve our safety while driving and turn our trips after the darkness falls from unnerving trials into pleasant trips. When it comes to’s fleet, we would find a broad range of rent-a-car vehicles prepared with great headlamps for easy navigation at night-time. Booking rent a car online could happen easily and rapidly, and at great prices.

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