Many drivers find it difficult to drive in the dark and it's a know incontrovertible fact that night driving presents variety of various challenges for the typical driver. For example, it's harder to ascertain valuable road users like pedestrians, cyclist and motorcyclist. Also if driving in the dark isn't common for the driving force than falling asleep behind the wheel may be a great danger.
According to Rospa (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) 40 % of collisions occur in the hours of darkness. "... 20% of serious accidents occur at night" Some might ask why road users crash at night and the obvious answer is the decreased in visibility. Cyclist are difficult to spot as their lights if they have one fitted are not as powerful as cars. Also in darkness it is harder to judge speed and distance and objects can be closer than they appear.
Younger drivers are at most risk as they have had very few hours of experience driving at night. It is strongly recommended that young drivers take extra training like the Pass plus course where your instructor can guide with the necessary skills.
Advice on how to avoid the dangers of night time driving
If one has to drive at night than make sure you test all of the lights on your car, to see if they are working. Having all of your lights functioning properly will improve your vision at night and will help other road users to see you better. If for any reason you have to pull up on the side of the road make sure that it is a legal place and put on your hazard lights to warn others of your presence.
Remember headlights should always be turned on an hour before the sun goes down. Twilight are often a very difficult time to ascertain other cars and objects on the road and headlights can help make this easier. Drivers should leave their headlights on for an hour once the sun begins to rise.
Glare may be a common problem that affects drivers throughout the night. High beams from other cars can make it very difficult to see where you are driving. To help avoid this glare, divert your gaze to the left side of the road instead of looking straight in front of you. You can use the side of the road to assist you steer without the distraction of glare. Make sure to regulate your rear-view mirror if trailing headlights are creating glare.
Your response times will be a slower at night as opposed to day time so increase your following distance from the car in front. In order to remain prepared for unexpected situations, increase your following distance up to five seconds. This will allow you enough time to take evasive action in order to avoid an accident.
When driving at night prevent your gaze from becoming static, it is a good idea to look around continuously to monitor your surroundings, looking for unexpected lights, curvatures in the road, signs, and other cars. This will help keep you safe while driving at night and help to prevent fatigue.
The final tip is to get our eyes tested as vision is crucial to driving, regular visits to the optometrist are an important part of night-driving safety. Depending on your age, you should have your vision checked every 1 to 3 years. The onset of certain conditions such as cataracts can make it more difficult to see at night. Over time, eyes can become more sensitive to things like glare. If you wear glasses to see when you drive, ask your optometrist about lenses that have an anti-reflective coating on them. This can help to prevent additional glare in your vision.