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Night Driving

According to a survey, death rate due to accident fatalities at night is three times more than that in the day. Here’s a few tips to drive safe at night.

There are many hazards associated with driving at night and most of us aren’t aware of ways to deal with them. The primary reason why night driving is so dangerous is darkness. Ninety percent of a driver’s reaction depends on vision which is severely limited at night. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision are compromised after sundown. The more your age, the lesser is your viewing capability at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year old. Fatigue is another major contributor towards danger when driving at night. Weariness increases reaction time and lowers concentration levels.

Alcohol plays a leading role in fatal traffic crashes, causing about half of all motor vehicle-related deaths. That makes weekend nights more dangerous. More fatal crashes take place on weekends than at any time during the week. So please, no matter how clichèd, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. There are a number of things that one can put into use to minimize the dangers of driving after dark

  • Clean the headlamps, tail-lamps, indicators and windows (inside and out) regularly.
  • Have your headlights properly aligned. An ill-aligned light beam will blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.
  • Alcohol severely impairs your driving ability. It also acts as a depressant. A single drink can induce fatigue.
  • Avoid smoking when you drive. Nicotine and carbon monoxide hinder night vision.
  • Being seen is as important as seeing, so switch on your headlamps even if you don’t need them. They will help other drivers see your vehicle clearly.
  • Do switch to the main beam whenever in doubt about something on the road.
  • Increase your ‘trailing’ distance when following a vehicle since it is difficult to judge a vehicle’ s speed and distance at night.
  • When following a vehicle, make sure that you do not use high beam as it can blind the driver you’re following.
  • If the oncoming traffic does not lower its beam then to avoid the glare, watch the left edge of the road and use it as a steering guide.
  • Stop regularly and treat yourself to light snacks and energy drinks to maintain concentration levels. Also do a few stretching exercises to flex your body muscles.
  • Twilight is one of the most difficult times to drive because your eyes are constantly adjusting to the changing and dying intensity of light which ultimately results in darkness. Practice utmost caution while driving during this period.

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