As sunlight through the day starts to show less and less, this will mean you’ll spend more time motoring in the dark. Here’s some of our best tips for driving at night!
Check your sight
As we age, our eyes simply don’t work as well as they used to in darker conditions and a 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old. Older drivers may also experience problems with depth perception, decreased peripheral vision and, one of the most common problems, seeing halos around streetlights and headlights. If that’s a persistent problem, it may be a good idea to ask your optician to check for any potential eye-sight issues you may have. However, the halos may simply be due to a dirty windscreen or even faulty glasses! So it’s important to make sure both are clean before you set off in the dark.
Coping with dazzle
If you are dazzled when driving at night, focus on the left-hand kerb instead of oncoming lights. If that doesn’t help, pull over to allow your eyes to recover. The time this takes increases from one second as a teenager to nine seconds as we reach retirement age.
Your car lights have their limitations, too. At 60mph, your headlight’s reach is around 180ft on low beam and 350ft on full. This might sound a lot, but at 60mph it takes more than 200ft to bring your car to a complete halt. So your reactions need to be pin-sharp at night and it is advisable to drive more slowly than you would during the day.
Check your lights are working before you set off on a journey. You should also turn them on an hour before sunset and keep them shining until an hour after sunrise to help others see you in less-than-perfect lighting conditions.
If someone is overtaking you, keep your headlights on full beam until they’re alongside you. This will help them see the road ahead better.
Wildlife and domestic animals are harder to see at night. One good tip is to look for reflection from their eyes, which can be seen from quite a distance.
The dangers from drunk drivers and rowdy city-centre drinkers mean I avoid built-up areas at night whenever I can, even if it means a significant detour.
Break from braking
Keep your foot off the brake pedal at traffic lights and when stationary. This way you’ll avoid brake lights blinding the driver behind you.
Driving a night isn’t a bad thing, actually, some people prefer it. However, some caution must be taken to ensure you do it safely. If you have any other tips that you find useful when driving at night, let us know on our social channels. We are @twwhiteandsons on Twitter and Facebook. Check our blog for more information as well!