Humans are naturally diurnal, which is the opposite of nocturnal, and means that your depth perception, peripheral vision and color recognition all drastically decrease once the sun goes down. In addition to this, you are also less alert at night, making it no surprise that 49% of all major car accidents take place at night, even though there are fewer drivers on the road. To help you stay safe on the road after dark, OROGOLD shares with you some of our top tips on driving at night.
Adjust and Clean Headlights
Over time, your headlights will usually shift position, making it important that you regularly adjust them, especially if you are going to be driving at night. It is an easy process to do, with plenty of YouTube tutorials to guide you a long if your owner’s manual is slightly too complicated, and, once done, it will make night time driving significantly easier. Headlights that are not aimed correctly can not only end up blinding other drivers, but can also distort the way that you see the road, and also make it much harder to drive in the rain and snow. It is also important to regularly clean your headlights, as this allows more light to shine through and eliminates the haze that gathers around them over time. You can get this done quite cheaply at any auto parts store, or, if you want to clean them yourself, OROGOLD suggests using sandpaper and polish. While you’re cleaning, be sure to check your windshield, as chances are that you’ve ended up smudging them with fingerprints at some point without realizing.
Be Aware of Wildlife
Wildlife and night time drivers are never the best of friends, and often experience encounters that can be fatal for both sides. Although you usually can’t see an animal on the road until it’s too late, OROGOLD suggests keeping watch for animal eyes that will be lit up by your headlights long before the rest of their body will, as the eyes will reflect the light. If you see a pair of tiny bright spots further down the road, it is likely to be an animal. The best strategy to use if you see a larger animal, such as a deer, on the road in front of you, is to slow down as quickly as possible. With deer, if you swerve to the side to avoid them, which is never recommended on a dark road at night, they will often follow the lights of your car and walk even further in front of you.
Keep Your Eyes Alert
After driving for a while at night, it is easy to get sucked into a zen-like state where you just stare blankly at the road, driving on autopilot. One of the best ways to keep your eyes from tiring is by keeping them moving, finding as many different things on the road to look at while still focusing on your driving. If your eyes start to get dry, roll down the window slightly and let some fresh air in. OROGOLD also suggests checking to see if your console lights can be dimmed, as this reduces the glare that gets cast onto the windshield, making it easier for your eyes to stay focussed on the road.
Staying as alert as possible on the road at night is extremely important, as is checking your car fully to make sure everything is in working order. Needless to say, avoid alcohol at all costs if there is even the slightest chance that you may be driving at night, and always carry with you the number of a local taxi company.