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24 Mar 2018

Six safety tips for driving in the night

There is no denying the fact that driving in the dark poses more risk than driving in the daytime. Even if you’re a genius at driving, you must be extra careful when driving in the night so as to keep your life and the lives of other passengers and road users safe.
As a matter of fact, the Federal Road Safety Corps has consistently warned Nigerians against night travelling because many accidents occur during the period.

Recently, disturbed by the spate of road crash fatalities resulting from such travels, the corps highlighted numerous factors which should discourage motorists from night travels, including the poor state of roads, inadequate rescue services, fatigue, inadequate road signs/markings and poor vehicle maintenance culture.

However, if it is unavoidable for you to drive in the night due to your work or other reasons, you should observe the following safety tips, as stated on popularmechanics.com:

Do eye tests regularly
Have your eyes checked regularly for problems which can affect your night vision. It is vital to have your sight checked regularly as this will show up any underlying eye problems such as glaucoma that may affect your night vision. Also, never wear dark or tinted lenses for night driving.

Lighten up
The Institute of Advanced Motorists advises turning your headlights on before sunset and keeping them on for an hour after sunrise so it’s easier for other drivers to see you in twilight. Make sure all your exterior lights are clean and working properly and keep your interior lights turned off.

Don’t dazzle
On rural roads, drive on full beam whenever possible, but dim your lights when faced with another road user to avoid dazzling them. And if you’re dazzled by an oncoming car, then avoid looking at the headlights. Keep your attention on the left-hand kerb and try to keep your speed steady. Avoid driving along at 50mph, dropping to 40mph when there’s oncoming traffic and then speeding up again. It makes it very confusing for drivers travelling behind you. It’s better to aim for a speed you can maintain such as 45mph and sticking to it, even if there are times you could go faster.

Clean your windows
Dirty windows will increase glare from other vehicles and are more prone to steaming up, so make sure your car windows are clean, both inside and outside, to avoid increased glare and condensation.

Study the road ahead
Read the road ahead for signs of oncoming drivers – glimmers of light at the top of hills and at bends could be the headlights of other vehicles, giving you prior warning. And watch out for pedestrians and cyclists – in the dark, they can be more difficult to spot, especially if they’re not wearing reflective clothing.

Take regular breaks
It’s always advisable to take regular breaks when driving long distances, but this is even more vital when you’re driving overnight. Stop for rest at least every two hours and drink strong coffee to keep yourself alert.

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