Tag Archives: safety tips

Low Beam vs. High Beam: When to Use These Headlights

Headlights are designed specifically to cater to the safety and convenience of the driver and ensure the visibility of other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, animals, as well as other obstacles on the road.

Headlights come in two specific modes — low beam and high beam. The main difference between low and high beam headlights is that a low beam is used for normal night-time driving; whereas high beams are used for driving on roads that have little to no light.

WHEN SHOULD YOU USE YOUR LOW BEAM LIGHTS?
Low beam headlights illuminate the road better in certain conditions and allow other drivers to see your vehicle without blinding them, ensuring fewer accidents. They are also ideal for all weather conditions or anytime your visibility is less than 150 metres. As a lower\ beam lights up the road at short ranges, you’ll mostly use them in the city with well-lit roads and areas. Low beams are designed to aim light down to the ground and towards the side; this way they don’t blind vehicles in the opposite direction or those in front of you.

WHEN SHOULD YOU USE YOUR HIGH BEAM LIGHTS?
High beam headlights are only suited for use in poorly-lit urban roads and rural areas. They should have limited city usage as they tend to blind oncoming traffic due to their bright, long-range illumination. They’re usually used on highways and areas without much traffic. Because high beams are so bright, be sure to switch to your low beam when you’re approaching a vehicle from behind so you don’t blind the driver ahead of you.

While high beams increase your visibility to 350 to 400 feet and help increase visibility when driving on dark streets or highways, you should never solely rely on high beams; nor should you use them on city roads amongst traffic. Never use high beams during unfavourable weather conditions as they cause glare and momentary blindness, making them extremely unsafe.

Over time, headlights tend to get dirty with accumulated dirt, and this can cause lower illumination and visibility on dark roads. Remember to clean your headlights occasionally as a necessary safety measure.

Make sure you adjust your driving speed according to the road and traffic conditions and always be considerate of the other drivers around you.

Safety Tips When Driving in the Hills

Travelling to the hills and driving there can be just as thrilling as it can be dangerous. There can be blind curves and hairpin bends and the driver needs to know how to navigate these. There are some necessary cautions and hill driving etiquette that need to be followed at all times.

Here are some tips to follow while driving in hilly regions:

Go Slow:
Do not exceed the approved speed limit while driving to any Hill Station. Watch out for the road signs that instruct you on the ideal speed for the location you are in. Speeding is dangerous on mountain roads and not the place you’d want to test out how fast your car can go. Gravity will work against you whether you are driving up or downhill. Slow down on all curves and descend at the same speed that you used while going up, and drive below the speed limit on curves.

Overtaking:
Overtaking is a risk even on the plains but tenfold on mountain roads. If you must overtake, always check traffic signs for bends, if the road is wide enough, and watch the vehicle in front of you for any signs of change in speed or swerving. When going uphill remember the traffic against you is moving faster coming downhill. Be smart in your judgement before you attempt it.

Know the types of roads:
Before you start your trip, do research on the type of road you will be driving on. Whether it is a typical narrow hilly drive or a well laid dual carriageway. Roads could vary from a good 4 or 6 or even 8 lane expressway to an off-beaten, bumpy path, it is always safer to be mentally prepared for different kinds of roads that are in the area you are travelling to.

Know your driving skills:
You should know just how much your car can take. Does it have the power to climb those steep roads? Will it carry a full load? You should also know how to handle your car to get the best out of it on those uphill pulls. The steeper the road, the more you will have to use lower gears to climb them, as well as lower gears together with accurate braking techniques while descending. Be vigilant about your tyres, your braking and your steering, especially on wet/damp roads.

No matter how much you want to, it’s never a good idea to try out those Fast and Furious drifting manoeuvres you’ve seen in the films. As adventurous as you feel, safety is still the priority.

Safety Tips for Driving at Night

The dangers of driving are always exaggerated after dark. It takes more caution and alertness to drive during the night than it does when driving in daylight. Especially in a country like India where drivers are just a little more ‘slack’ about following road rules.

Drowsy Driving:
Never drive if you are feeling extra fatigued at the end of the day. Always be cautious that there could be other drowsy drivers on the road. Long work hours, extra work shifts, lack of quality sleep, and sleep disorders are only a few of the reasons why accidents happen because of inattentive and overtired drivers.

Blinding Lights:
We have all experienced those blinding high-beam headlights in our face obscuring our view momentarily. But all it takes are those few blinding seconds to cause a serious accident. Only use your high-beam lights when necessary; when visibility is low. Try to switch between low and high beams when you see oncoming drivers. Just because they blind you doesn’t mean you need to blind them as well.

Don’t Stare at Oncoming Lights:
Those High-beam headlights can be extremely distracting; the best strategy is not to stare directly at them and to do your best to cast your gaze down when cars are coming at you. Try to focus on the white line. This will prevent you from being temporarily blinded.

Despite popular belief, don’t buy those yellow-tint sunglasses that would supposedly help you see better at night. They limit the amount of light that passes through them, making distinguishing objects and road hazards more difficult.

Don’t Drink and Drive:
Alcohol is the most common cause of accidents, even more so at night time. Be wary of other drivers when driving at night as you are more likely to encounter a driver who is under the influence of alcohol. Remember, you not only have your own life in your hands when driving but of those around you as well; so never drink and drive no matter how “little” you think you had, that is still too much.

Clean Your Windshield:
Your windshield might look fine during the day, but it can cause glare when headlights hit it. Dust that might not bother you during the day can be spotty and distracting at night, so it’s important to clean your windshield both inside and out. This applies to motorists’ helmet visors as well.