Nobody likes driving in the dark, but now that winter is here, it’s something we’re all going to have to get used to. If you’re worried about it or feel you could benefit from some advice, then here are our five top tips for driving at night.
Adjust Your Headlights
Many people don’t know this, but it’s actually possible to adjust your headlights so they’re pointing in a slightly different direction. Even new cars may have them positioned in a way not particularly ideal to you, so check to see if there is any way you can improve their settings to better suit you.
To do this, simply consult your vehicles manual and follow the instructions. Normally, the problem will be that the headlights are uneven or they point too low, so have a look to see if this is an issue for you. But be careful, raising them too high could cause them to affect oncoming drivers.
Don’t Stare at Oncoming Traffic
While the headlights on other cars are partially there for your benefit, so you are aware they are on the road, you must be wary against paying too close attention. Staring at the lights will mean you’re not looking at the road in front of you – which is obviously a hazard.
This can be difficult, as when you’re eyes are on the interiors of your vehicle and the dark roads ahead, sudden bright lights can be incredibly distracting. Look away in these situations and remind yourself that your own path and direction are the most important thing.
Dim Your Dashboard
There are dimmer switches located on many dashboards, so you can turn down the brightness. Again, this is aimed at getting rid of as many distractions as possible, many of which are actually based within your own vehicle.
This is also a great way to save energy, and therefore money. Newer models may automatically dim at night so you won’t have to worry, but most cars won’t have such a feature. It’s important to note, as with the lights, you shouldn’t go too far so that your dashboard is completely invisible in the dark.
Be Cautious of Animals
In the dark, you are usually hopeful that any cyclists and pedestrians sharing the road with you will be wearing clothing that makes them more visible. However, this is not particularly likely with animals, so you’re going to need to be extra cautious about your surroundings.
This is naturally more of a hazard when driving down country roads and more isolated areas, but it can happen anywhere. You need to be extra focused with everything on the road ahead of you and to the side. Don’t go too fast – take your time until you’ve passed a section you deem likely to have wildlife nearby.
Clean Your Mirrors
Both of your exterior mirrors can be a big source of glare, so you need to make sure they’re clean. Dirt reflects the light from cars behind you in a misleading way, so it might not be completely clear on their distance from your own vehicle.
Another tip is to move the mirrors slightly so that you cannot see lights behind you from your natural seating position. This will reduce the chances of distraction further, while you’ll still be able to see the cars behind you whenever you like by moving your head a little.
If driving in the dark has caused you to have an accident in the past, check out Accident Compensation 4 UK to see if you’re eligible for some compensation.