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How to drive safely at night

Driving at night has its own specifics which you need to know and take into consideration when planning to drive your own or a rented car at night, in order to reduce and limit the risk of accidents on the road.

It is good to acknowledge that driving at night involves some complications which are usually not a factor when driving in the daylight.  

Statistics show that there are three times more fatalities among crashes which occur at night as compared to those during the day, which is not so surprising.

First of all, the peripheral vision becomes much more limited in the dark, as well as the ability to tell the distance between your car and the other vehicles, people and objects on the road.

Another reason why the risk of accidents is greater when driving at night is that normally the human biological circadian rhythm is set to resting and sleeping at night and when it is dark, so it is much likely that you are tired when travelling by night, which reduces the reaction time and limits the ability to stay focused.

Also, since the temperature falls at night, it is more likely that ice is formed on the road, which we all know makes driving and stopping much more dangerous, difficult and risky.

night driving

Plus, it must be noted that at night is far more likely that you or another driver is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which drastically increases the risk of getting into a dangerous accident.

In order to reduce the risks before taking off on a night drive, there are some useful steps you should follow:

Firstly., and especially if you are about to drive a car which is not yours or is from a rent-a-car company, you need to check all your headlights, tail lights, and if necessary to regulate them and maybe wash them from the dust, snow or other residue.  You can also wash the windshield if it is not clean enough, in order to ensure better visibility.

It is recommended that you flip your interior mirror, so that you reduce the glare from the lights of the cars behind you, and always follow the rules to switch to short beam when a car comes toward you or when there is a car right in front of you.  This way you will reduce the risk of the other drivers being blinded by your lights and accidently crashing.

Of course, you should abstain from the use of even minimal quantities of alcohol before driving, because it makes you drowsy and less focused.

To improve your visibility don’t use the lights inside the coupe while driving in the dark.

As when you are driving in snowy conditions, it is recommended that you keep a larger distance and drive slower when you are driving at night, in order to ensure sufficient time and space to be able to stop safely at all times.

Always make sure that you are well rested before driving at night, because fatigue can lead to a lowered ability to focus and concentration on the road, and also can lead to the very dangerous situation of falling asleep while driving.