Summer brings warmth, social events by the dozens, and later nights outside. When it was winter, the nights started earlier yes, but the days were colder. People spent their nights huddled by their technology, fires, maybe curled up with a good book, but now with summer people are sitting around bonfires, out meeting friends at restaurants and outdoor based events. With all this additional socializing outside, staying out later is probable, and therefore driving at night might increase. Being aware of the precautions that you can take to enhance the safety of night driving can help ensure the safety of yourself and your vehicle.
The first step to illustrate safe night driving is to make sure you aren’t already too tired to drive. It’s understandable to want to go and do things after a long day at work, but perhaps it’s best to rest at home on some occasions. Of course, it’s hit and miss depending on the person and situation, if you are driving a short drive away to have dinner with friends you may wake up in the occasion. But if you are feeling notably tired and have to drive a reasonable amount, consider staying home. If you do choose to leave and you feel large amounts of fatigue bothering you pull over in a safe area to get some rest, drink some coffee or a caffeinated drink, and if you have to it’s okay to stop for the night. More methods are to listen to music to sing along to, while rolling down the window closest to you in order to get some fresh air.
Additionally, practice extra defensive driving when driving at night. It is always important to be aware of the drivers around you while driving a vehicle, along with the pedestrians in the nearby areas. Driving at night adds additional hurdles and distractions such as higher numbers in intoxicated drivers, intoxicated pedestrians, the glare of the lights, the lower visibility with the limited lighting creating less time to react safely to these additional hurdles. Be aware and keep yourself and others safe by paying attention for yourself and others.
If driving out of populated areas slow down and use high beams when appropriate. The limited light creates a barrier for proper reaction times, limiting your ability to stop your vehicle in time. Your high beams can generate farther visibility creating a smaller chance of an accident. Remember to be considerate of oncoming drivers and turn off your high beams when coming near another driver.
When driving for an extended amount of time your eyes may become agitated or fatigued by the light both outside and inside your car. If that’s the case, you can adjust the lighting on the dashboard of your car. If the streetlights are becoming too much to your eyes for any reason, you can use your visors to help limit the amount of bright light conflicting with your eyes. While you should always keep your eyes on the road, oncoming headlights can be blinding at times, and it is helpful to look to the right side of the road when a car is passing so that you don’t become temporarily blinded by their bright lights in the darkness.
Finally watch for wildlife both inside and outside of populated areas. While wildlife often doesn’t thrive on the roads of populated areas you may still come across one at night as they travel from one sports field to another. When driving outside of populated areas though, wildlife is one of the leading factors in car accidents, especially at night. If you come across wildlife while driving at night slow down and stop if needed. Do NOT swerve around the animal, as that is often a damaging if not fatal choice to make in a high-speed vehicle.
As a result of following these techniques your chances of having a safe summer of memorable, honorable, and laughable summer experiences will grow as safe driving is the final understated step in most experiences that you will partake in this summer.