Driving at night can be challenging for those who may not do it often. So, before you get behind the wheel, here are some tips for driving at night.
Rest prior to departing –If you anticipate a long drive, be sure to get plenty of rest. In a previous article, we discussed common car accidents in Canada. According to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, 20 per cent of fatal collisions involve driver fatigue.
Carry an emergency preparedness kit –What’s worse than having your car breakdown in the middle of the road? Your car breaking down in the middle of the road at night. The Government of Canada has created a list of essentials to have in your vehicle at all times.
Dim your headlights – When driving at night, you may think that it is especially important to have your high beams on; and although there are instances where you would keep them on (e.g. driving on backroads), when driving on city roads they pose a distraction for other drivers – which can result in collisions.
Keep your distance –When driving at night, it is recommended to continue to keep your distance – as tail riding could make other drivers nervous. Tail riding may also cause drivers to react sporadically and may lead to a collision.
- Keep your windows clean – A dirty car window may not be noticeable when driving during the day, however at night these obstructions may not be as easy to overlook. Upon entering your vehicle, be sure to inspect it to ensure that your windows are free of any debris.
Watch for animals – Whether you are driving in the city or in a rural area, animals are everywhere. In the city, you may encounter nocturnal animals such as raccoons, badgers, or possums; while outside the city, you may encounter larger animals such as moose, deer, coyotes, foxes, etc. In either instance, be wary of the wildlife that may be roaming the streets.
- Use GPS – Charting unfamiliar territory? Be sure that your GPS is up and running. If you use your phone for your GPS, ensure that it is fully charged and propped on the dashboard of your vehicle. DO NOT text and drive.
Dim your dashboard – While traveling at night, you may want to have all your lights on at full brightness; however, that may cause an unwanted distraction to not only yourself but also other drivers around you.
- Ensure your eyes are healthy – Regular check ups with your optometrist are ideal for not only driving at night, but also ensuring the overall health of your eyes.
Stay Alert – Be sure you are staying alert at all times. Drive with the windows down, play music, bring a friend to keep you engaged. It is important to stay awake. Should you feel tired on your commute, pull over to a safe area (e.g. a parking lot) and take a quick nap.
Have any tips you would like to share? Put your thought in the comments below.
Disclaimer: This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing specific legal or insurance advice.