A lot more accidents happen at night than in broad day light, and they happen for variety of reasons. It's expected that low visibility is one of the main factor, and it is, but there are other significant reasons too that contribute to it. Driving at night time is dangerous and should be done with utmost caution and only if you a night owl who prefers to be awake at night. Here are some tips that you can follow while driving at night.
1. Improve visibility
Know what all affects your visibility – headlights, windshield, rear-view mirrors and eye glasses. Turn the headlight ON early in the evening, even if you think you can see absolutely clear. Use high beam if you cannot see the road ahead. Keep the windscreen and mirrors clean and make sure that your eye glasses are clean too and are not turning foggy with the direct blast of air-conditioner. In case you need to clean any of them make sure you do that with micro fibre cloth and not wipe it with bare hands.
2. Stay alert and spacing out
Night may not be the right time to drive for everyone, but if you decide to do so, make sure that you are wide awake. You may play music or talk to the fellow passenger that might be travelling with you, this should help you being awake. Spacing-out can cause problems as the moving scenery and focussing on divider line etc. tend to create a hypnotizing trance-like effect. Keep moving your eyes and focus on the road ahead. In addition try to glance the rear-view mirrors once in a while, this should help you keep aware.
3. Take breaks to avoid fatigue
Take frequent breaks to reduce fatigue. Have a cup of tea / coffee or an apple. It’s hard to sleep on an empty stomach so avoid a large and heavy meal with lots of calories in it while travelling. Taking a break would also help reduce fatigue caused due to constant travelling. Take a nap if required and resume the journey when confident. Pass the steering wheel to the other passenger if still feeling sleepy. It’s another effective way to reduce fatigue.
4. Watch out for other drivers and animals
Sadly, at night, you may find many drunk drivers on roads and this is a dangerous situation that you may be able to avoid only by driving slow. Observe and be vigilant enough to notice drivers that may seem drunk or tired. Such a driver may not stick to lane and swerve continuously from one direction to another. There’s nothing else that you can do other than keeping away and driving more carefully around such drivers. If you are travelling through rural areas, watch out for animals that may come on the road at night, it’s better to drive slow through such regions and observe signs that may warn you of such dangers.
5. Take regular driving precautions
Other than these tips take the regular driving precautions and make sure to wear seat belt, not to use mobile phone and observing traffic rules etc. and as always adjust the seat and steering wheel for comfortable driving position. Make sure not to tailgate, in case of an emergency stop made by the driver in front can put you as well as the driver ahead in high-risk situation.
6. Know when to stop
Human body has limits, and if stretched too much they can be fatal. No matter the amount of tips you follow. After a while the body would need sound sleep and you would require rest to keep going. So, it’s important to know when to stop and know that a tea or an apple would fail to keep you awake.