"Are you a frequent nighttime driver?" Or "Do you find it difficult to drive after the sunset?" Well, getting frustrated by night driving is definitely not going to solve your problem.
Due to the absence of daylight, human's peripheral vision diminishes and they are likely to get involved in brutal car crashes when driving at night. The high rate of road accidents occur partly because of low visibility issues and partially because of drivers unawareness towards his surrounding road conditions. You can accomplish a safe drive through the dimly lit streets and highways by simply adopting some basic precautionary measures such as-
1. Make sure that your eyes are examined regularly
Having a sharp eye vision is an integral part of driving. It will assist you in recognizing potential hazards and in reading the signs posted across the road. Along with the ageing process, there are a number of disorders such as presbyopia (inability to see the navigation system), dry-eye and cataract are leading reasons behind low night vision. Thus, keep a regular eye check-up, increase your intake of nutrients essential for a healthy sight and make yourself aware of the common eye-related diseases.
2. Wear a pair of glasses with anti-reflection coat on the lenses
The main purpose of anti-reflective glasses is to eliminate all reflections from the front and back surfaces of your lens, thus giving you an improved and a clear vision of the road before you. Adding AR coating to your glasses will minimize the effect of any sudden oncoming glare or light and will make night driving safe for you.
3. Do not wear sunglasses after dusk
Going out at midnight is far more troublesome than you thought. And if you have decided to put on sunglasses than you are in more danger. It has been observed that visual acuity declines in low light situations, allowing a minimal amount of light to enter the retina. Wearing sunglasses will further worsen the sight as the tint on these glasses further limits the amount of light entering the eye. Thus, you will be unable to have a proper sight with the sunglasses on.
4. Clean your windshield inside out
Make sure that the windshield and mirrors of your vehicle are thoroughly cleaned every day. A dirty and damaged windshield will have a negative impact on your road visibility and consequently making it impossible for you to drive safe during night time. Having a spotless and clean windshield gives you a full view of the road ahead.
5. Make sure your headlights are clean
General maintenance of a vehicle is essential to keep it in a working state. Navigating your way in the darkest hour of the night is quite impossible if your headlights are stained as well as non-functional. Keep your headlights on, even if you don't need them so that you are visible to other motorists. Clean them with a special headlight cleaning kit.
6. Use your high beams when you can
Using high beams when you are unable to look through the dark the night ensure you a safe drive in the gloomy night. High beams have the capability to illuminate 350-400 feet of road ahead, providing you with a better viewing angle. These beams make you aware of pedestrians and other motorists giving you a better sense of your path.
7. Dim your instrument lights to reduce brightness
The bright LED light of a dashboard can cause a temporary distraction while driving. For that reason, cars have dashboard dimmer switches so you can adjust the dashboard lights as per your requirement. Dimming the dashboard display and other lights in the car cabin will give you a better glimpse of the obscure night.
8. Adjust your rearview mirror to 'night' setting
Adjusting your mirror to 'night' setting is quite easy. In case of a manual car simply flip the tab of the mirror that will change the reflecting side of the mirror. This will protect you from being blinded by any vehicle behind you. For the owners of an advance vehicle, all you need to do is to press a button to activate the night time mode of your automobile.
9. Keep an extra two car lengths away from the car ahead of you
One of the basic rules of defensive driving is to maintain a safe following distance so that you have ample amount of time to react in case the need arises. At night, when human vision declines it will be a sensible move to double the following distance and avoid tailgating. This way you will be able to avoid collisions and nasty mishaps.
10. Don't drive faster and slower than the speed limit on the winding roads
In accordance with the golden rule of night driving, "The posted speed limit is the highest speed that's legal-not the highest speed that's safe." Driving at a moderate speed will help you stay alert and you can quickly react to any upcoming obstacles and pedestrians which are invisible due to low visibility. Moving steadily within the extent of your headlight is always a safe way of navigating through the dark roads.