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When Visibility is No Longer a Given: 6 Tips for Safe Night-Time Driving

Night-Time Driving
Night-Time Driving

It's not your imagination. It IS harder to drive at night. The car up ahead, is it a motorcycle or a car? Is it swerving over into your lane? How fast is it going? It's much harder to tell at night than during the day, and as such, many motorists are reticent to drive after dark.

While the number of people on the road is about half of what daytime sees, the risk of a fatal crash is almost 3 times greater during the nighttime. The National Safety Council also reports a driver's depth perception and peripheral vision are lessened, and the bright glare of headlights coming towards you can blind drivers, even for just a split second. If this happens to you, will you be prepared? Accidents do happen, and when they do, The Millar Law Firm can help. But, the best case scenario is to be proactive in learning defensive driving techniques.

So the question becomes, how can you tackle the ever-present problems of night-time driving?

CLEAN IT UP

Yes, cleaning your headlights can make a big difference. As time goes by, headlights can gather dirt, grime, and grease just like the rest of a car, truck or sports utility vehicle. While a car wash can help, it's a good idea to periodically restore the headlights using special cleansers to remove haziness and yellowing. Not only will this allow you the driver to see oncoming traffic better, but you'll be more visible to other drivers as well.

DON'T GET TOO CLOSE

While the Police warned against standing so close, the same holds true of driving. Don't get so close to the car in front of you when driving. It's true during day-time driving, but most especially at night and when it's raining. Not only do close drivers make others nervous, as the car draws closer, but the headlights also appear brighter and more distracting.

SHIFTY EYES CAN BE A GOOD THING

To avoid an accident at night, always be on the lookout for lights. Additionally, it's important to continually check the mirrors and further to watch other cars' headlight beams to see other objects that wouldn't be spotted otherwise, including children, animals, and bikers.

DEFENSE WINS GAMES

It's true in football and on the road. With others drinking and driving and driving while texting, your defence game should be on high alert. While you can't change how others drive, defensive driving can be the key to successful nighttime driving.

WAKE UP

Driving when drowsy is a huge problem with nighttime driving and one that must be fought continually, especially on long trips. If necessary, pull over in a safe spot to get some rest or fork over the money for a hotel. Playing a radio on the music you can sing along to or an interesting book on audio can be a great way to stay engaged and awake.

TWO-LANE ROADS ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND

It may be the road less travelled, but that could be for a reason. Two-lane roads tend to have more sharp curves, fewer lights and more hills than an interstate. Furthermore, the glare on these types of roads is worse from on-coming traffic. Other drivers may have their high-beams on, blinding you as they approach.

Fix the inside lighting so it's not too bright, and test the beams of the car on a regular basis. Clean the headlights, drive rested and ideally, have someone along to help keep you awake. By being aware of the problems, accidents can be avoided.

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