Tips to driving late at night
Updated on December 06 2023
METRO MANILA, – Late-night driving is often riskier than driving in the daytime because increased road hazards, poor visibility and driver fatigue.
It’s a paramount concern of the authorities to warn motorists about the dangers of road trips, especially at night. Records show that the chances of a deadly road crash are three times greater compared to daytime.
In India, about three in five road crashes happened after dark because driver fatigue and low road visibility. In South Korea, almost half of fatal incidents occurred at night for the same reasons.
In the Philippines, the Metro Manila Accident Reporting and Analysis System (MMARAS) revealed that the period between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. is the most dangerous in the metropolis. It showed in 2020 that around one in three fatal road crashes happened before sunrise.
Here are some tips that can help improve the late-night driving experience and lessen the hazards during a long trip.
Be defensive when driving
Drinking and driving are the biggest dangers on the road after sunset.
Based on the MMARAS data, the percentage of deadly crashes involving alcohol intoxication is about four times higher at the night compared to daylight. For the safety of all road users, driving under the influence of liquor is not only dangerous, but legally prohibited as well.
Stay diligent at night to see crossing pedestrians, animals and, most importantly, the road signs.
Don’t drive when fatigued
Car crashes because of drowsy driving usually take place after midnight.
Sleepy drivers shouldn’t take the road in haste. Prudence dictates that they need to pull over at a safe spot to rest or allow the night to pass before resuming the drive.
Clean windshields and headlights
Damaged windshields can potentially worsen the effects of glare from oncoming traffic lights.
Aim your headlights correctly and clean them with a solution frequently. Dirty rear mirrors can likewise decrease road visibility. Clean and wipe them up regularly to ensure a safer trip at nighttime.
To compensate for poor visibility, slow down to allow for reduced stopping time.
Adjust your speed when driving through the night because of low visibility and other road hazards.
Avoid two-lane highways
Based on the authorities, two-lane highways may be a “worst-case scenario.”
Aside from too much glare from oncoming traffic, these roads have sharp curves and hilly paths, along with poor lighting. If possible, take a safer route.
Use high beams when necessary
They are helpful in rural traveling to allow good visibility ahead, but crank it down whenever a vehicle is approaching.
Newer cars have an automatic lighting system that appropriately adjusts your beams for oncoming traffic.
Be ready for any emergency
Use quality reflectors at night.
When any car is in trouble, get to a safe spot and call for help. Should you need to pull over on the shoulder, use your hazard lights to increase your visibility to other motorists and wear your reflector’s vest while waiting for roadside assistance.
Avoid driving at night if you have impaired vision
Driving in the dark is difficult when you’ve got night blindness (nyctalopia), astigmatism (presbyopia) or short-sightedness (myopia).
These conditions can pose serious a risk, especially as they limit the visual capabilities of the driver. But these vision problems can be treated through eyewear or medication.
Have your vision checked regularly. Make sure to wear your glasses while driving since they can aid night blindness.
By taking some necessary precautions, we can contribute to lowering or avoiding road crashes. And following all these tips can give you a peaceful experience and an enjoyable nighttime drive.
As the saying goes: staying alert is staying alive.
Automart.PH Senior Content Creator VJ Bacungan contributed to this story.