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It’s been found in a ROSPA survey that 40% of accidents happen at night. Driving in the dark comes with a whole new set of challenges, so it’s good to keep a few extra safety tips in mind for when you find yourself on the road at night. Here are five of our safety tips for night driving.

1. Make sure your windshield is crystal clear.

Windshields are (unfortunately) often a bug’s last landing place, leaving you with residue all over the glass. When you’re driving at night, these smears can be both distracting and visually impairing. Headlights from other cars can reflect and illuminate the dirt, and this could result in more of a glare on your windshield. Glares are very dangerous while you’re driving. 

The window washer fluid within your car can be a life-saver, but sometimes, it can only do so much. When you stop for gas next, take an extra second to use a squeegee to clean your windshield. Not only will this improve your night driving, it’ll also make your car look more squeaky clean. 

2. Stay away from two-lane highways, if possible.

According to NHTSA, two-lane highways are one of the worst settings for night driving. Due to the glare of the lights from oncoming cars, it can be difficult to maintain focus while driving. Additionally, two-lane highways frequently have more sharp turns and curves than traditional highways. Both facts definitely make two-lane highways a less ideal spot to be night driving, so consider taking a different route. 

3. Don’t get blinded – and don’t blind others!

Sometimes people don’t realize their high-beam headlights are on…or they’ve purposefully turned them on at an unnecessary time. Whatever the case may be, it’s incredibly distracting to try to drive when people coming the opposite direction have very bright headlights. In that situation, the best thing to do to regain focus is to direct your eyes slightly downward and to the right. Using the markings on the right side of the road will keep you on the right track, and when your eyes have readjusted after the headlights have passed, you can redirect your eyes to the road in front of you. 

Along the same vein, try to be conscious of how bright your headlights are! When you need your high beams, by all means, use them. But when they aren’t necessary, try to avoid blinding your fellow drivers. The glare can lead to an accident, and you don’t want to cause or be involved in one.

4. Take it slow.

Night driving is prime time to speed, because there are usually less people on the road and you’re likely listening to music to stay awake. However, speeding at night is even more dangerous than speeding during the daytime, (Note: we’re not endorsing speeding – quite the opposite.) Since visibility is lower when night driving, it’s better to take it a little slower, or at least go right at the speed limit. 

5. Night driving is better with caffeine.

We’ve talked about driver fatigue previously, and some ways to combat it, and those tips are definitely applicable to night driving. Drowsy driving is equally as dangerous as driving under the influence, so make sure you’re making every effort to stay awake and alert on the road. Why not stop at a gas station or Starbucks to grab a coffee before continuing your trek? Though it seems a little backwards to drink coffee so close to bedtime, it’s important to be fully awake behind the wheel. There are other ways to keep yourself awake: sugar, music you love, or an interesting podcast. Whatever you need to do to (safely) keep yourself awake is important when you’re driving in the dark.

Here at Horizon Transport, your safety is our priority. Keep these tips in mind for your next night driving journey. We wish you safe travels!