Blur image of city lights at night

What You Need to Know to Drive Safely in the Dark

Tips for Driving at Night

Feeling anxious while driving after the sun goes down? According to the National Safety Council, accident rates are three times higher when it’s dark outside. The reduced visibility and increased difficulty to measure distances play an important role in those numbers. Since road safety is at the top of the list when talking about driving concerns, at Carizma Motors we have put together a list of tips for driving at night to help you feel more confident on dark roads.

Read more: Top Five Reasons Why Your Check Engine Light Is On

1. Clean Your Windshield

A dirty windshield might be just annoying during the day, but it can make driving at night fairly difficult.  Messy or damaged windows can increase glare when hit by the headlights of an approaching vehicle, so it’s important to clean them frequently in order to ensure road visibility.

2. Check Your Headlights

It’s important to make sure your headlights are correctly aligned. If the beams are pointing to low, you will lose road visibility due to too poor illumination, but if they are aimed too high, you could blind oncoming vehicles. You can have the headlight angle checked by a technician or aim them yourself by following the instructions on your owner’s manual.

3. Don’t Stare At Lights

While it’s important to keep your eyes on the road, looking directly into the headlights of oncoming vehicles can temporarily blind you. In those cases, it’s better to shift your eyes down and to the right, using the lane markings as a guide to follow the road.

Blurred windshield with traffic lights view

4. Increase Distance and Reduce Speed

Driving at night entails reduced visibility and shorter reaction times. That’s why it’s important to reduce the speed and increase the space between you and the vehicle ahead. An easy way to determine if you are maintaining a proper distance is by using the three-second rule. This means when the vehicle in front of you passes a landmark along the road, you should be able to count to three before you reach the same area. If it takes less than three seconds, it’s time to slow down.

Car headlights illuminating forest road

5. Watch for Pedestrians and Wildlife

Staying alert to any pedestrians or animals crossing the road is especially important during nighttime driving. The best way to avoid a collision is by slowing down quickly and trying to stop, without swerving or driving off the road. Your headlights can also help you spot an animal’s glowing eyes to prevent an accident.

6. Keep Your Eyes Healthy

You can have the cleanest windshield and the best headlights, but little will they do if your vision isn’t in good shape. It’s important to get your eyes checked at least every two years in order to detect any underlying problems that may affect your night vision.

Read more: Five Tips For Extending the Life of Your Vehicle

Although driving at night can be challenging, these easy tips will help you ride with more confidence in the dark. Don’t forget to check the Carizma Motors blog for more automotive tips and tricks!