• Adrian Fedyk

**** N is for Night Driving ****


You will find that you're very much more limited by conditions at night. You can't see as far as you can in daylight, so less information is available.


Problems vary widely with the type of road and amount of traffic.


Speed at night


You need to be more alert and aware that you can't safely drive as fast at night as you can in daylight. The includes driving at dusk or dawn, even in good weather.


Never drive so fast that you can't stop well within the distance you can see to be clear. That is, within the range of your lights.


To enable you to see the greatest distance, you should normally use main beam headlights on unlit roads unless:


  • You're following another vehicle

  • You're meeting oncoming traffic.


On lit roads you should normally use dipped headlights.


If you can't stop safely within the range of your lights, you're going too fast.


Avoid dazzling others


If you meet any other road user, including cyclists and pedestrians, dip your headlights in good time to avoid dazzling them.


At dusk


You may find it best to put on your lights before lighting-up time.


Don't be afraid to be the first driver to switch on, it's better to see and be seen.


At dawn


The opposite applies.


Don't switch off your lights until you're sure it's safe. Make sure you can see and be seen.


If you are driving a dark coloured car you should switch on earlier and switch off later.


When you drive with your lights on, other drivers can see you earlier and tell where you are going. This is often difficult in the half light without lights.


Your eyes at night


You should have your eyesight checked regularly.


Ask yourself, "can I really see as well as I would like?'


If you can't see so well at night, it might be your eyes that are to blame, night driving may be highlighting the need for an eyesight check.


How far can you see?


Test yourself in a suitable place.


Pick an object within the range of your lights and see if you can stop by the time you reach it.


You'll be surprised how difficult this is with dipped lights on an unlit road, and shows that you should take a good look before you dip your lights.


Lighter coloured objects are easier to see at night.


Adjusting to darkness


Give your eyes a minute or two to adjust to the darkness, particularly when you're coming out of a brightly lit area or building.


You can always use the time to clean your lights, mirrors, windscreen etc.


Remember this when you leave a motorway service area after a rest or refuelling stop.


A clean screen cuts down dazzle.


Dont

  • Wear tinted glasses or sunglasses (unless they are anti-dazzle night glasses)

  • Spray the windscreen or windows with tints.




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