Night Driving Tips

Edited by Admin
Night Driving Tips

Night Driving Tips


Driving at night is more dangerous than driving during the day. This knowledge makes many of us apprehensive about night driving; some even avoid it altogether. Nevertheless, most drivers will need to drive at night at least occasionally. How can you feel safer and more relaxed while driving after dark? The following tips can help you to remain calm and safe on your night drive!

  • Stay alert. If you are tired, do not drive; fatigue plays a part in 10%–30% of accidents. It doesn’t matter if you roll the windows down, play loud music, or drink energy drinks to stay awake; the fact that you are feeling fatigued makes you a dangerous driver. Never set out driving when you’re tired. If you find yourself feeling drowsy while driving, pull over and sleep, or call someone to come and pick you up. And even when you’re not feeling tired, remember to take regular breaks on a long drive: get out of the car, stretch, and get some fresh air. Stay awake and alert.

  • Clean the windshield. In the dark, any spots, smudges, specks of dirt, cracks, or bug splatters can scatter light and interfere with your vision. Before leaving the house, make sure that your windshield is as clean as possible and that your windshield wiper fluid is topped up. Remember that wiper blades also need to be changed periodically, as they will begin to degrade after prolonged use..

  • Adjust interior light panels. Turn down the intensity of the lights on your dashboard. While bright light may be necessary to see the dials and indicators during the day, bright dashboard lighting can be distracting at night. Bright lights may even reflect onto the windshield and the glare can impair your ability to see properly.

  • Adjust mirror. Adjust the rear-view mirror to the anti-glare setting before setting out to lessen the effect of headlights behind you.

  • Take the safe route. Take the route that is safest. For example, look for routes that are consistently lit, have better road conditions, that run through more populous countryside, or that have cell phone coverage. Avoid taking backroad shortcuts at night.

  • Slow down. When driving at night, you can only see as far as your headlights can reach. On a dark route, that may not be very far, so it makes sense to drive more slowly than you might during daylight hours. Speed limits are set based on a variety of factors, including where the road is located, the condition of the road, and political considerations such as whether or not the limit can be enforced. Slowing down allows you extra time to react to unexpected occurrences.

  • Watch for wildlife. At dusk, many wild animals begin foraging for food. When you are driving at night, scan the road frequently for wildlife, and slow down in areas where they are likely to be found. Collisions with deer and moose are particularly prevalent in Canada, and they can be deadly. There are approximately 25,000 motor vehicle-ungulate collisions per year in our country, and 20 deaths resulting from these types of collisions.

  • Beware of impaired drivers. Your chances of encountering a driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol are greater after dark. Drive defensively: watch for anyone driving erratically and give them a wide berth. Reduce speed so that you can react to any drivers who may not be in full control of their faculties. If you suspect you have seen an impaired driver, pull over and report the sighting to local police. And of course, never drink or do drugs before driving.

  • Know your headlights. Know how to switch from high to low beams before setting out and know when to do so. Your regular lights should be sufficient for city driving. Use the high-beam lights on the highway, or in rural or poorly-lit areas. When you see a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction, switch to low-beams until the vehicle has moved past you. Never use high-beams when following closely behind another car. Check periodically to make sure that your headlights are aligned properly, and that the glass is clean.

  • Take care of your eyes. Unfortunately, not all drivers remember to dim their high beams in a timely fashion. Newer vehicles have strong high beam lights, and sometimes those lights will shine directly into your eyes as vehicles approach. To protect your eyes, look down and to the right while meeting an oncoming vehicle with bright headlights. You can use lane markings or the right edge of the road as a guide until the vehicle is safely past. Drivers who wear glasses should opt for anti-glare coating that will help to reduce the effects of bright lights. As well, our eyesight deteriorates over time, so those over 50 years old should consider limiting their nighttime driving.

  • Eliminate distractions. Refrain from texting or calling while driving. Pull over to eat or drink. Keep pets and children restrained. Don’t engage in conversations that pull your attention from the road. Stay focused on driving.

Stay safe on the roads, in the light and in the dark!