Nine Tips for Night Driving
Safety Tips for Driving in the Dark
As the sun sets earlier and darkness sweeps over the streets, there is no question that the dangers on the road increase. From diminished visibility to impaired drivers, it’s important to take safety precautions during the darker hours. Here are our top nine tips to keep yourself and the motoring public safe.
Keep Your Truck Clean
Keeping your windshield clean, both on the inside and out, may seem like a trivial task, but you may not notice built up dust during the day. When headlights hit dust just right a blinding glare can leave you squinting at night.
Headlights and taillights should all be in working order and aimed properly so you can be seen and avoid blinding oncoming traffic. A headlight polish kit may be a good investment if night driving seems to be a regular routine.
Don’t Look Into the Light
When you see oncoming traffic, do not stare directly into the headlights as this may temporarily blind you and disrupt your focus on the road. Be sure to turn your gaze away to decrease the danger!
Eyes on Your Surroundings
Whether it be animals, pedestrians, impaired drivers or even a traffic sign, it’s a greater challenge to see your surroundings at night. Regularly check your mirrors, take your time at intersections and keep your eyes alert of the surroundings.
Many professional truck drivers prefer to drive during later hours as the roads are less crowded, but it’s extremely important to listen to your body. Make sure you get the rest needed before a night drive, as your body may still be accustomed to sleeping once the dark settles in. Start to understand what kind of driver you are – do you prefer to leave right when rush hour ends and drive into the night, or are you better at rolling out at the darkest hour and driving into the sunrise? Plan accordingly!
Keep Your Eyes Healthy and Happy
Be sure to get optical check-ups as recommended and if you have prescription glasses, wear them. With prescription glasses the best option for night drivers is to have lenses with anti-reflective coating to improve visibility. Along with this, dim the cab’s instrument panels as the bright screen light can become a distracting light.
Taking your full attention off the road, even for a split second, can cause some serious damage. Of course, this applies to day driving as well, but the risk is increased when night driving. Take away texting, in cab dining and radio interruptions so you can maintain focus on the task at hand – night driving.
Distance and Speed Management
When vision and reaction time may be compromised by the darkness it’s imperative to manage your distance from the car ahead and regulate your speed. Increase the distance from the truck in front of you compared to what you may practice during the day and reduce your speed to assure a safe arrival to the final destination.
During the dark hours, it’s just as important to exercise smart safety measures outside of the truck cab as it is in. When pulled over be sure to use your hazard lights, reflective triangles and always wear a reflective safety vest or jacket.
For more safe practices and procedures, take a look at some of our past posts.