MOTORING CORNER : “Night Driving”

Many times we find ourselves caught up in one place or the other, all along, time is passing by and by the time we are back on the road, and we might find ourselves having to push on for a few more hours as the darkness of the night sets in.  Night driving is very difficult for many people, more so, if you are not well prepared for it or if it is the first time you are doing it. Driving in the dark is much different from driving during the daylight. The human eye’s vision is much smaller without the natural light, those car lights might provide light, but that cannot equal to that of the daylight.

Many times we find ourselves caught up in one place or the other, all along, time is passing by and by the time we are back on the road, and we might find ourselves having to push on for a few more hours as the darkness of the night sets in.  Night driving is very difficult for many people, more so, if you are not well prepared for it or if it is the first time you are doing it.

Driving in the dark is much different from driving during the daylight. The human eye’s vision is much smaller without the natural light, those car lights might provide light, but that cannot equal to that of the daylight.

If you must drive at night and you feel not confident to do so, the following may come handy to improving your night vision and reach your destination safely.  

Take your time; patience is a very handy tool.  Better arrive late than never!  Allow your eyes a chance to adjust to the darkness before you start driving.

It takes a few minutes for the pupils to fully dilate, allowing for maximum light to enter the eye. The more light your pupils let enter the eye, the better your vision will be.

This way, you might have a better view of the road ahead of you.  If you are driving on the right-hand side or left-hand side of the road, make sure you focus your eyes on the offside position in order to avoid looking directly at the lights of the oncoming vehicles.

This way, you will avoid being momentarily blinded by very bright lights of approaching vehicles.  It is advisable to tune your rear view mirrors such that, they are stretched out at right angles or more, to the doors of your car, this way, lights from tailing vehicles will be deflected outwards instead of hitting your eyes.

Key the interior of your vehicle as dark as possible, any source of light inside the car will seem extremely bright and will reduce your ability to see.

Remember, the more you can see, the better; your night driving will depend on what your eyes can see and the decision made thereafter.  Reduce your driving speed to give yourself longer time to react if something happens on the road in front of you. Driving at a slower speed will also give you more confidence.

Keep your car in the best of condition in order to have maximum safety as well as security. Regularly check fluid levels, tire pressure and brake pads.

Thoroughly clean headlights, taillights and signal lights. Make sure all windows are clean on both the inside and outside.  Your ability to see in the dark depends on several factors, including the state of your eyes.

Certain conditions, if you are the type the uses spectacles, for your own sake, please do not drive at night without them.

Be considerate to other road users; make sure you dim your lights as soon as another road user appears ahead of you. By leaving your full lights on, you could dazzle the other road user such that, he loses his way and rams into you!
  
Lastly but not least, once you feel you have had enough, do not push your luck, look for a safe place where you could spend the night.

It is much better to arrive the next day than not arriving to your destination at all!  Driving is an act that requires concentration and the ability to make right judgments.
 
motoringcorner@live.co.uk

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