Tips for Driving After Dark

shutterstock_533014120When people drive at night, they are three times as likely to be involved in an fatal car accident than when they drive during the day. Driving at night means that you are less likely to see things coming at you due to low visibility. You may also be temporarily blinded by oncoming traffic. As the holiday approaches, more people will be on the road. Knowing how to drive at night will help people avoid accidents. Follow these tips if you will be driving down the road after the sun goes down.

1. Aim Your Lights

At times, headlights are uneven or pointed too low. You can aim your lights on your own following the instructions in your manual. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can take your car to a mechanic and have it done for you. If you are driving an older car, buy a headlight polish kit and remove the haze that has built up on the covers.

2. Dim the Panel

Most cars come with the ability to dim the interior lights. If your dashboard is lit up like a runway, it could be compromising your vision. Turn down the dashboard lights to a readable, but low level. Don’t drive with your map lights on. This can be tempting if you are trying to read something, but you shouldn’t be reading and driving anyway.

3. Avoid Glasses

Naturally, you should wear your prescription glasses when you drive, but you should avoid glasses sold for night driving in most cases. There are yellow-lensed glasses that are marketed to the public, telling them they will see better at night. The reality is that these glasses reduce the amount of light you can see. If you have a prescription, ask for an anti-reflective coating to be applied to your lenses. This keeps light from bouncing and helps you see better. Even better, wear contacts instead of glasses if possible.

4. Shiny Eyes

Keep your own eyes open for other pairs. You can often spot animals in or near the road when your lights hit their eyes. If you see the telltale sign of shiny spots near the roadway, slow down immediately. If you wait to hit the brakes until you get closer, you could very well cause an accident. When you do drive upon a large animal in the roadway, try to brake slowly and stay the course. Swerving is n ever a good idea.

5. Focus Elsewhere

As we age, oncoming headlights become more bothersome. Do not look into the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. Your eyes have adjusted to the dark, making these lights especially blinding. Try to look somewhere else ahead of you. Focus on the side of the road for a moment until the vehicle has passed. If it is the car behind you that is blinding you with their lights, turn your rearview mirror down.

6. Keep a Newspaper Handy

Wipe your windshield down with a piece of newspaper. This will remove residue that can cause glare at night. Remember to wipe the inside after you’ve wiped the outside. Removing as much residue as you can will help increase your ability to see despite oncoming lights.

7. Turn On the Fog Lights

If your car is equipped with fog lights, make sure they are turned on. This will help you see changes in the road faster. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that fog lights cast shadows that will make rocks, potholes and bumps appear larger than they may be.

8. Clean Your Mirrors

Dirty mirrors make it difficult to see. Streaked mirrors make the glare of lights worse. A good position for side mirrors is tipped slightly downward. You will have to move your head in a different way to see clearly, but lights will not bounce into your eyes.

9. Get a Vision Screening

Eye doctors recommend keeping your eyes moving to prevent nighttime driving fatigue. They also suggest a checkup at least every two years for adults. Keeping your eyes in tip-top shape is a surefire way to drive more safely at night.

Driving after the sun goes down requires a different skill set than driving when the sun is up. It also requires that you make a few changes to your car. When you make sure that your mirrors are clean, your lights are positioned properly, and your interior lights are dimmed, you can be sure to avoid those accidents that can be.

If you are injured in a car accident in West Palm Beach, reach out to our team of experienced accident attorneys. We will review the details of your crash and advise you of the options available to you under current state law. You may be able to seek compensation for property damage, injury and more. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we have handled successfully.