Driving at night is considered as driving under special conditions, because, unlike the day, you cannot clearly see everything, even with the aid of your headlights.
While driving at night, you only see as much as your headlights and back lights can allow you to see, and it is never as bright or as sure as the day. This is why there are certain things you must do while driving at night.
Therefore, when driving at night, it is most important for you to increase your following distance especially when it’s difficult to see clearly, turn your headlight on to increase your visibility, and avoid looking directly at the headlights of an oncoming vehicle to avoid being blinded by the glare.
Can You Drive at Night?
Yes, you can drive at night. Although it might not be as much, just as during the day, there are hundreds of thousands of cars commuting the roads at night.
In fact, in very busy cities like London, New York, and Lagos, the cars on the roads are as much as they are at night, however, it is always advisable to drive at night only when it is extremely necessary.
When you are driving at night, you are regarded as driving under special conditions, because the day isn’t bright, and the light isn’t as adequate as needed to drive safely, which is why drivers are advised to always be more careful and always drive slowly at night.
Is it Safe to Drive at Night?
Compared to driving during the day, it isn’t one hundred percent safe to drive at night. The risk of driving at night is increased because of the special conditions around it.
Research that has been carried out confirms that the ratio of fatal accidents and head-on collisions that happen at night is three times as high as the ones that happen during the day, this alone makes driving at night risky.
Does this mean that you shouldn’t drive at night? Well, not exactly. Driving at night is unavoidable, which is why the extra care to take has been mentioned in different articles and research over time.
Although it is not safe to drive at night, there are measures that drivers can take to ensure that the risks that come with driving at night are mitigated.
Also, it becomes a lot less risky when the driver is skilled and has been taught the art of driving under special conditions.
When Driving at Night it is Most Important For You To?
When driving at night, it is most important for you to increase your following distance when you know you can’t see the roads very well. For those preparing for a written driving test, the answer is to increase your following distance.
However, here are some of the things that are important to do when you are driving at night:
1. Reduce Your Speed
It is important for you to drive carefully, and so, you must reduce or adjust your speed to fit the amount of the road ahead of you can see.
Driving at a high speed while you are driving at night, or under any other special conditions, you’d be running the risk of hitting another road user, because the conditions of the night limit your vision of seeing who/what you’d have seen during the day.
2. Use Your Headlights
Headlights are used to increase visibility ahead of you, hence, when you are driving at night, you need to use your headlights and make sure they are adjusted properly to see just the road ahead of you.
While using your headlights, you must be considerate and dim or increase the brightness of the light according to the conditions of the road you’re driving in.
Some roads are darker than others, and you must adjust accordingly so as not to be a nuisance to other road users. Know when to use low beams and high beams.
Using headlights is very important as it aids visibility when you are driving at night. Also, ensure you maintain the speed of the road you can see ahead of you.
3. Clean Up Your Viewing Mirrors
Make sure that your mirrors are very clean so you can be sure that you are seeing the right things, and that your already impaired vision isn’t also blurred.
Make sure that your vision is clear, and that your mirrors and windshield are properly cleaned.
4. Be Defensive
When driving at night, you need to maintain defensiveness. This means that you should be extra careful than you would have been during the day, because a lot of unexpected things happen at night, thanks to impaired vision.
You must be defensive, and prepare for the unexpected. This is why you shouldn’t Overspeed during the night, even when you believe that the road is free.
If you’re speeding and something or someone comes out of either side of the road, it might be too late for you to see what it is and avoid a collision.
5. Be Awake and Alert
When you know you are going to be driving at night, ensure you get enough rest and drink enough water. More than enough accidents have been caused by tired drivers who slept off on the steering wheel while driving.
This is avoidable by simply getting enough sleep earlier. If you did not expect to be driving at night, and you are extremely tired, it is advisable to find somewhere safe to park your car and get some sleep, instead of putting yourself and other road users in danger.
6. Don’t be Distracted
When driving at night, ensure you’re not distracted. Being distracted will do you no good considering the nature of the nighttime. Don’t let your phone, music, radio, or sleep distract you.
7. Prepare Your Route
When traveling at night, ensure you are following routes you’ve used before. This is to avoid speculations and getting yourself in danger where you will be robbed at gunpoint or your car get stuck on something.
8. Ensure Your Car is in Good Condition
When driving at night and you are going on a long journey, it is wise to ensure that your car is in order. Before starting the journey, ensure your engine oil and tire pressures are checked and gauged, and your coolant, brake fluid, steering fluid, and transmission fluid are in gauge.
You should also check your brake pads and repair anything that might stop you on the stop. This is because, when driving at night, especially on a long journey, you wouldn’t want your car to stop you in the middle of nowhere simply because you failed to do what you are supposed to have done before starting the journey.
Can You Overspeed at Night?
No, you cannot Overspeed at night. It isn’t even advisable to Overspeed during the day. Overspeeding under any conditions, normal or special conditions, is not advisable in any way.
In fact, it is considered illegal, as Overspeeding simply means that you are driving at a speed higher than is required for the road you are using at that moment. It is dangerous to Overspeed, and even more dangerous to Overspeed at night.
I remember the day I was speeding when driving at night because I didn’t know how well the road is, I found myself inside a pothole that affected the right leg of my car. Luckily, I was able to continue driving. After that day, I advised myself never to do such again.
Safest Ways to Drive at Night
You need to take extra measures to be safe when driving at night. Here are the several safest ways you can drive at night:
- Take extra care. Always be on the defensive.
- Use your headlights and adjust appropriately.
- Ensure you avoid two-lane expressways, as they are more dangerous at night.
- Drive slowly.
- Clean your mirrors and windshield.
- Park somewhere safe and rest when you’re tired.
Driving at night is risky, therefore, you must always take extra care so as not to be a victim of a fatal accident. Ensure that you use your headlights properly and that you drive within their ambits. Don’t Overspeed, be considerate of your limited vision, and increase your following distance.