How do you feel about night driving?
Many Americans state that they much prefer driving in the daylight. In the evening, with fatigue coming on, more impaired drivers on the road, and limited visibility, more drivers are nervous and anxious.
Senior drivers will find it uniquely uncomfortable to drive at night or even in the dim light of evening. This is generally because eyesight diminishes in our later years. When you can’t see the lines on the road clearly, and it’s hard to make out what lurks in the dark, it’s common to feel apprehensive about night driving.
While this sentiment is quite normal, there’s no reason you can’t drive at night with confidence. Still, it’s helpful to have some tricks up your sleeve to make the experience more manageable.
Here, we offer several pieces of advice to get you through a night drive safe and sound.
- Clean All Windows, Mirrors, and Headlights
It’s hard enough to drive at night with clean and clear windows, mirrors, and headlights. When any of these are dirty, however, it can cause distortion, blurriness, and cloudiness in your vision. That night, this can mean disaster.
At all times, make sure you have clean headlights (check for a buildup of debris and dead bugs), and keep all of your windows and mirrors clean as well.
- Make sure You Have the Correct vision Correction, If Necessary
If you already wear glasses or contacts, make sure your prescription is correct and up-to-date. If you don’t wear corrective lenses but have been having trouble with your vision — whether in the day or at night — make an appointment with an optometrist and have your eyes checked.
- Stay Focused
Driving at night demands your full attention. In fact, there are three times as many traffic deaths at night than in the daytime.
For this reason, when driving at night, you should never be lost in a conversation on the phone, texting or using your phone in any other way, eating, drinking, putting on makeup, or doing anything else other than staying focused on driving.
- Check Your Headlights
Your car’s headlights will lead the way as you drive at night. Naturally, this means you need to make sure they’re in peak working condition — clean, not cloudy, and bright.
If you’re on a road that doesn’t have a lot of traffic, feel free to use your brights for added clarity in your vision. Just make sure to dim them when a car comes your way.
- Keep an Eye on the Side of the Road
At night, seeing onto the sides of the road isn’t as important as staying in the lines and managing your vehicle in traffic. Still, animals, pedestrians or other objects may be there.
That’s why you should dart your eyes to the sides of the road from time-to-time to ensure you avoid a collision with a deer poised to run or someone ready to cross the street. Naturally, in any area where there are sidewalks and crosswalks, this is especially important.
Why Is Driving at Night Tougher?
Humans are not nocturnal; we’re diurnal. This means we’re active during the day, and we sleep at night.
As such, we cannot see at night with any adeptness. Unfortunately, the result of this is that even with streetlights and a number of strategically placed reflective surfaces on and around the road, we’ll never quite be able to see clearly when driving at night.
Happily, the tips listed above should help with this. Follow them, and you’ll be setting yourself up for a safer driving experience at night.