Driving at night presents its own challenges that aren’t there during the day. Even on a cloudy day, visibility is much higher than at night. Dangers lurk in the shadows that, during the daylight hours, you can see from miles away. Caution should always be taken while driving a vehicle; at night, though, you should be even more aware and alert. Here are some night driving tips you should know to keep yourself safe.
Check the Headlights
You should make sure that all your external lights are working so that other cars can see you. You should pay extra attention to the headlamps. They are lighting the way for you and, if they aren’t working, you won’t get very far. As they age, headlights get foggy, reducing the amount of light they throw on the road. Make sure the lenses are clear and the lights are pointed on the road, not upward or off to the side.
Don’t Stare at Oncoming Lights
It’s important to keep your eyes on the road, but don’t stare at the oncoming headlights like a frozen deer. Maintain your forward gaze but, as the car gets closer, look past the car and into the darkness. If the lights are too bright, then turn your gaze to the white line on the side. Don’t look straight down at it but look at the edge of your own lights. This will keep your eyes from burning.
Tailgating is the absolute worst driving behavior—it serves no purpose. You shouldn’t do it during the day and it’s even more dangerous at night. If the car in front of you needs to stop suddenly, the odds you will rear-end them increase exponentially. Give the car in front of you plenty of space and slow down.
Scan the Side of the Road
Nighttime belongs to the nocturnal creatures; that includes people. If you live in a rural area, then you should be watching the ditch for eyes glowing back at you. Deer and raccoons will dart in front of your car, and you won’t have time to stop. Urban areas have the same risks but with an even more dangerous critter: people. They assume you can see them because they can see you. Always scan the side of the road for living creatures of all kinds.
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