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Guidelines & Tips for Safe Night Driving

GUIDELINES & TIPS FOR SAFE NIGHT DRIVING

An early morning marriage of a best friend’s in Bangalore that you have to attend or a sudden trip to see the sunrise at Pondicherry? Yes, these would be the kind of reasons why you would have to drive your way into the night after a busy day’s work. Although it is recommended to avoid driving at night for many reasons, sometimes all of us just need to, for our own justifications. There is nothing wrong with that. But it is wrong to not take the tips or guidelines that we would give to help you have a safe journey!

Driving at night requires extra alertness and safety especially if you have a family with you.  Thus, we would love to present to you a short list of simple tips to follow which we feel would be useful for a safe night journey:

15 GUIDELINES FOR SAFE NIGHT DRIVING:

[1] The safest tip is to drive at a much lower speed than you would do on the same stretch during the daytime. Invariably, due to poorer visibility, it’s always difficult to anticipate any unwanted obstructions well in advance for precaution.

[2] Regularly keep blinking ever so often and don’t let your eyes dry up as that could distract you. 

[3] Night driving requires a much higher level of alertness. Always remain sharp & focused. Remember it’s not as easy to judge the speed of any oncoming vehicles at night so overtake them only when you are 100% sure that you can do so safely. 

[4] Be extremely cautious at all junctions as they are very difficult to spot at in the night. With no traffic lights at work there, drunk and callous motorists are often known to just drive through such intersections without any regard for you or the others. 

[5] It is better that you don’t focus on any one single object or the same part of the road and markers for an extended duration of time. This way, you might suffer from something called highway hypnosis. So, keep moving the focus of your eyes every couple of minutes.

[6] While overtaking, along with a mild honk, always flash your high beam as this will sufficiently communicate your presence & intention to overtake to the other vehicle. 

[7] You could use the day or night feature of your internal rear view mirror if the headlamps behind of the car behind you are blinding. Once the car overtakes or diverts, it is better to be on the day mode to get better vision.

[8] If there is a need to make an emergency stop if there is a puncture or any other issue, always move your vehicle as far off the road as is possible. And remember to keep your parking lights on and also activate your hazard lights. If your car has a reflective warning triangle, set it at least 40 meters behind your parked car to warn oncoming motorists well in advance for their convenience. 

[9] Keep your headlight low beam on at all times. It is advised to never drive without your headlamps on or drive with them only in the parking / pilot lamp setting. 

[10] Try to be as conservative with your refueling plans as possible. Remember that a majority of the petrol pumps shut shop after midnight. That is why filling the tank up as soon as the level reaches the 40 – 50% range is a good idea. 

[11] Use your high beam only when the conditions mandate it, but never when you see that you have oncoming traffic. Be courteous with your headlamp usage. It is better to immediately switch from high beam to low beam when someone is driving opposite to you. And, for your own good, you don’t want to blind the oncoming vehicles. Don’t follow someone with your high beam on, as it will blind them.

[12] If you are driving with a full load of passengers or goods, the weight of the rear tends to make your headlamps point skyward. In such cases, use the headlamp level height adjuster to counteract this risk. Usually, “0” is the standard setting for this; you can increase this number to dip the beam further so that the weight at the rear of your car can increase.

[13] If you are driving in foggy conditions, you can use your low beam & fog lights. It is a fact that high beam actually reduces visibility in foggy conditions, as most of the light is reflected back by the fog. 

[14] When the visibility is really poor like on a rough village road or a foggy area, always hold the flash switch temporarily as this activates low beam & high beam mode simultaneously, giving you almost twice the light power. But remember, do this only when there is no oncoming traffic, to avoid other problems. 

[15] It is advised to never look into the headlamps of oncoming vehicles as it’ll momentarily potentially blind you. Also, move your gaze away from all bright headlamps. And it is best to look down and towards the road in such conditions. You must also focus on the road markers as Indian roads today have received much improved quality of markers. 

These are some of the basic guidelines that we have to offer to you for a carefree night journey! Satisfied for our deed for the day, we pray you use these tips for your best interests and wish you a very happy week ahead! Happy Riding!