Although some drivers would like to avoid it completely, everyone must drive in the dark at some point. The reasons that so many people dislike driving at night are many — from poor visibility to glaring headlights and long days spent at the office. But unfortunately, this is one aspect of driving that is unavoidable. Luckily, there are a few simple safety steps that every Rolling Meadows driver can follow to keep themselves and others safer when driving at night. Keep reading to learn more.
5 Important Safety Tips for Nighttime Driving
1. Use Your Headlights
When it comes to using your headlights, it’s better safe than sorry. In fact, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of driving with your headlights on whenever it starts to get dark or you’re dealing with poor visibility. Turning your headlights on an hour before dusk is a great way to make sure that the roadway is lit properly and that you can see the road as the sun begins to set. Additionally, turning your headlights on about an hour before dusk makes your vehicle more visible to other cars on the road.
2. Avoid Following Too Closely
In good or inclement weather if you follow too close or are stopped too close to the vehicle in for of you, 9 out of 10 times the vehicle behind you is too. If rear-ended, being too close could not only cause you injury but also damage both the front and rear of your vehicle. Avoid both of these scenarios by allowing one to two car lengths between you & the next vehicle. Additionally, the closer that your headlights are to another vehicle in the dark, the more distracting they can be to others. This is another easy way to cause an accident and reduce your overall visibility.
3. Keep Your Eyes Moving
To avoid accidents at night, it’s also important to be sure that you’re checking your mirrors regularly and keeping your eyes peeled for other lights. However, looking directly into oncoming headlights can hurt your eyes and make it harder to see the road. Instead, look down towards the lines in the road for guidance when passing oncoming traffic. This is also the time to kick into the defensive driving mode by staying alert and aware of what is happening around your vehicle.
4. Make Time for Headlight Maintenance
Keeping your headlights clean, aimed in the right direction, and on properly lit is essential for safe nighttime driving. Unfortunately, many drivers make the mistake of driving around far too long with a single headlight burning. This is an issue that not only cuts down on your overall visibility but leaves you at risk for another light burning out and zero working headlights. So be sure that you take the time to keep your headlights clean and whenever a bulb burns out, replace your headlights in pairs.
5. Stay Alert and Awake
Aside from dim or burnt out headlights, the other big danger that people face when driving at night is drowsiness. If you’ve worked a long day or been out late with friends, you have a greater risk of driving while tired. Combine your tiredness with less busy roads, the night sky and your body’s natural sleep cycle, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. So be sure that you never drive while drowsy and take breaks during long road trips.
Protect Yourself on the Road
In addition to following these important nighttime driving tips, you can invest in comprehensive auto insurance to provide yourself with an extra layer of protection. Call (847) 397-9618 to speak with one of our independent agents or request a free quote online today.