Motoring corner : “How to Drive at Night”

With the heavy downpours we are experiencing these days, let us bear in mind that, most of the accidents normally occur while driving under poor visibility or at night, one can say that driving is not at all safe and you need to be very careful in order to avoid hitting or getting hit.

With the heavy downpours we are experiencing these days, let us bear in mind that, most of the accidents normally occur while driving under poor visibility or at night, one can say that driving is not at all safe and you need to be very careful in order to avoid hitting or getting hit. The most difficult time is driving at night, after the sun goes down.

During this time, the vision gets extremely restricted; advantage of colour and contrast (available in day) is lost and even depth perception gets diminished. In fact, the risk gets enhanced as soon as it is twilight. So, you need to be extremely careful while driving at night and take as much precautions as possible. Given below are some useful clues that will help you to drive cars safely at night.

Adjust the outside rear-view mirrors in such a way that the bodywork of the vehicle is just outside your view.
Adjust your rear-view or side mirror to cut out the glare of headlights from a vehicle following you.  Always be alert and keep looking for flashes of light at hilltops, curves and intersections.

This will help you notice a vehicle early before it gets too close to you.  Always be at a safe distance from the vehicle you are following. In fact, increase the distance to four to five seconds more than what you would have in the day.  At times, even the streetlights cause a lot of glare. As a solution for this problem, dim the dashboard lights and make use of the sun visor. 
 
Before leaving for an overnight journey, make sure that all the exterior lights of your vehicle are working properly. Do not take too much stress at night.

At the slightest inclination of fatigue, it is better to stop for a while and take a break. You can even take a short nap or have some tea/coffee to help you stay awake and alert.  Driving at a high speed is much more dangerous at night, than during daytime. Never ever over-speed at night.  As it is, the visibility is low and chances of accidents are higher. Do not increase them further by over speeding.

Headlights, if dirty, will never give 100 efficiency and lighting. Always clean the headlights of your vehicle before going out in the dark.  If by any chance you end up having a breakdown on the way, pull your vehicle completely off the road.

Turn on the emergency flashers as well as the parking lights, making it easier for other drivers to see you. In case there is fog at night, keep the headlights on low beam. Otherwise, not only will you reduce your vision, but also make the other drivers go temporarily blind. At the same time, use fog lamps only in case of fog or inclement weather and not otherwise. 

In order to avoid glare from the headlights of an oncoming vehicle, look away from the centre of the road and watch the white line marking the outside edge of the traffic lane.  

Never ever overdrive the headlights of your vehicle. Be sure that you are able to stop inside the illuminated area.  One of the major reasons for glare comprises of dirty windows. Before leaving, be sure to clean both the inside and the outside of your windshield. 

The headlights should be turned on as soon as it is early twilight i.e. at least one hour before sunset and make sure to keep them on till one hour after sunrise.

This will make sure that the other drivers have no trouble in seeing you clearly.  When you follow another vehicle, always keep your headlights on low beams. This will ensure that the driver is able to see properly.

 motoringcorner@live.co.uk

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