When it comes to driving around, there are certain times of the day that are safer than others. And you should know that driving past dusk is one of the most dangerous times to drive, other when there are adverse weather conditions on the road. If it’s at all possible, it’s best to not drive after dusk, but if you are forced to, then it’s best to take the proper precautions to stay safe. Because you definitely don’t want to get into an emergency situation when it’s pitch black outside and with possibly super cold temperatures.
Down below, we’re going to go through some of the top tips we have for you to ensure that you’re safe when driving at night. You not only owe reading this article to yourself to keep you safe, but also for the other people who are in the car with you. Make sure that everyone is safe in your car by keeping the following tips at the front of your mind when driving after dusk.
1. Make Sure to Keep Your Headlights Clean
First of all, we need to look at the exterior of your car when making sure you’re safe out there. If you take a look at your car’s headlights and they seem a bit foggy or they aren’t as bright as they once were, then chances are that they need a good cleaning. You can either replace the light casings for newer ones or get some special cleaning products at your local auto shop to clear them up. This will ensure that you have clean lights that will let plenty of light out whenever you’re driving at night. This is important because you never know what could pop out from the side of a dark road. Your bright lights will give you the vision you need to see these things coming.
2. Keep Your Windows Clean
If you are going to be driving towards the setting sun, then it’s important to keep your windows clean. Now, you might not think about this at first, but that glare from the sun is going to enhance the dirty spots and smudges on your car’s windows. This is going to make seeing out the front of your car even more difficult than it is with just the setting sun blocking your vision. In addition to that, whenever you are driving towards the setting sun, make sure to wear sunglasses or put down the sun visor.
3. Always Clear Up the Ice from Your Windows
If you’re driving in the autumn or winter time, it’s crucial that you take the time to clear off the ice that may have built up on your windows. Many people decide to drive out on the road with some of the ice still on the car because it just takes so much time to get it off. Invest in some de-icer fluids and a handy ice scraper to get that ice off before you drive into the night. This will seriously help the quality of your vision on the road.
4. Watch Out for The Reflective Gear of Pedestrians and Cyclists
A lot of the times, pedestrians and cyclists will be smart and wear reflective gear at night. When you catch a glimpse of this reflection off of your car’s lights, then it’s a clear warning to slow down and take your time so you don’t hit these people. However, many people don’t wear this reflective gear when out at night, so it’s best to always pay attention for any bikers or pedestrians that could be in your way, this responsible drivers’ habit might save you from a lot of trouble.
5. Keep Warm, But Don’t Stay Too Warm That You Get Sleepy
When you’re driving around at night, chances are high that it’s going to be a bit chilly outside. This means that when you get in the car, your first reaction is going to turn that heat on full blast. However, make sure that you don’t get too warm in your car. This could make you super drowsy and cause an accident if you were to dose off for a few seconds. So, be sure to turn down that heat a bit or crack the window open to get some fresh air that will wake you up.
6. Find Ways to Keep Yourself from Getting Drowsy
Speaking of getting sleepy, the chances are also high that you’re going to be a bit sleepy when driving after dusk. It’s important for you to take some time to find methods to keep yourself from getting too drowsy when driving at night. For example, if you are a coffee-drinker, then bring along a fresh cup of joe for your drive. Or open that window a crack to let some fresh air flow through your car. Or you could even blast some loud music to keep yourself awake. You owe it to the other people in your car to not dose off at the wheel, which is a common cause for accidents on the road.
7. Be Sure to Take Care When Overtaking Another Car
If you’re going to be overtaking any of the cars on the road at night, be sure to add some extra distance to what you would normally do. The darkness of the road blurs our perception of where the other car could be. If you don’t add that extra distance, you might miscalculate and end up hitting the other car when trying to overtake it.
8. Watch Out for Any Animals That Might Be Crossing
One of the biggest causes of accidents when driving at night is animals crossing the road. Of course, you don’t want to hit these little creatures, so you might swerve and end up crashing off of the road. In order to avoid this series of unfortunate events, be sure to keep an eye out for any animals that are prone to crossing the road at night. If you live in a rural area, this is definitely going to include deer that can pop across the road at any moment.
9. Keep Emergency Equipment in Your Car for Any Eventuality
You always want to be prepared for every eventuality whenever you’re driving at night. As we mentioned, you never know what could happen when driving on the road after dusk, so make sure to keep emergency equipment stocked in your car, just in case. For example, you’ll want to keep a first-aid kit, some extra blankets, a flashlight, medication, a spare tire, and spark plugs.
10. Increase Your Following Distances When It’s Dark
And lastly, it’s best to play it safe when you’re driving at night. A great way to do this is increase your following distances when there are other cars on the road. When it’s light out, you might be tempted to drive very close to other cars. However, you definitely shouldn’t do this when it’s dark outside. This will really increase your chances of getting into a fender bender, or worse.
Each of these tips are designed to keep you super safe whenever you’re driving on the road after dusk. Keep them in mind and you’re going to be alright out there. However, the best way to keep you safe after dark is to not drive when the sun sets at all.