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Sometimes, when you’re driving at night it can be a little difficult to navigate your way.  There are a multitude of reasons why, but we’ve come up with a few guidelines to keep you safe when the sun decides to take a snooze.

Those Headlights

A big factor in making sure you’re able to drive safely and easily at night is by using your headlights.  You should turn your headlights on ahead of time, perhaps an hour before it starts getting dark so you are prepared for any journey you might take.  Not only that, but keeping your headlights in working order is very important as well.  Make sure to replace all light bulbs on your car as often as needed to maintain visibility and also to be in line with legal expectations for traffic safety.  Your headlight covers will over time become fogged up and worn out from weather and general use.  It would be wise to invest in new headlight covers, or even consider buffing or polishing  them to keep visibility as clear as possible.

Back Off and Slow Down

You never know what is going to happen when you’re driving, so being prepared is always important. At night, there is a greater chance to be involved in an accident or witness poor driving from others.  Especially on the weekends, keep your guard up because there is a potential for drunk drivers to be out on the roads.  Staying at a safe distance from other cars is going to help you to handle any unpredictable circumstance that comes your way.  Also, don’t be in such a hurry! You’re not going to get where you’re going any faster by driving faster than the speed limit.  Those limits are put in place for a reason; it’s there to keep you and everyone else on the road safe.  Especially at night—do what you can to maintain a decent distance from other cars and to keep yourself in the right range of speed.

Mirrors and the Windshield

Your mirrors, windshield, and headlights are major safety defenses for driving in the dark.  You want to keep each of them in top working condition so you will be ready for anything.  If its winter, for example, spend some extra time to clean off your windshield of any snow or ice before hitting the road so you have complete visibility.  Do the same for your mirrors so you aren’t crippled in any capacity while driving.  Sometimes your mirrors might take a little more work to get the ice off, but here’s a tip: run inside your house and grab a pitcher of warm water.  Throw it over your mirrors on each side, and the ice will melt right off.  Immediately after, dry them off as best as you can so you don’t have to worry about whether they will ice over once more after exposing them to the hot water.  It seems to be tougher during winter to keep your windshield clean than in other kinds of weather.  In low temperatures, your wiper blades won’t be the greatest help.  You can also keep your wiper blades in working order by lifting them off the windshield the night before a big storm so they stay free of ice and snow.  Consider getting your car in during the colder months as well to a local shop you know and trust for a general maintenance inspection. 

Keep Yourself Awake

This seems to be a no-brainer, but it’s something that needs to be mentioned. Before considering going out for a night time drive, make sure you’re alert enough to make the commute.  If you’re tired by any means, and if you can stay in, the best decision would be to refrain from hitting the roads.  You want to be in your best position possible so that you can be ready for anything that could happen on your journey.

Consider Your Eye Health

When was the last time you made a trip to the eye doctor? It can be expensive to keep up with your vision needs, but it’s definitely well worth it. There are perks to getting your glasses updated because if you have problems seeing what’s in front of you while driving, you can have an anti-glare coating added to your new glasses to fix that.  This anti-glare coating will help reduce the effects of light bouncing onto your lenses and make it easier for you to navigate at night.  If you don’t regularly wear glasses, over time our eyes tend to not work as well as they did in the past.  It could be time to consider getting your eyes checked out.  One of the greatest ways to avoid the night time glare is by avoiding staring directly at the source.  If someone in the opposite lane is using their brights, don’t stare directly ahead.  Instead focus on the side of your lane away from the blinding traffic to keep yourself steady behind the wheel.

Lay Down Your Gadgets

We understand this is a part of defensive driving 101, but due to how many accidents are reported each year because of smart phone usage—it’s still worth mentioning!  Keep your hands on the wheel, and keep your focus on the road ahead.  Whatever it is you need to share with your friends or loved ones, even if it’s a long drive, it can definitely wait.  Another thing you can do to help others is by avoiding texting or calling them if you know they are about to take a drive.   The less contact with your phone or any other technology that distracts your focus, the better is your chances of driving safely.

Driving at night time is a lot riskier than daytime driving. There are more reported accidents and injuries at night than during the day.  Be smart, and keep yourself safe on the road! Keep up with your vehicle’s maintenance needs to avoid any other sorts of conflict while out for a drive.