Once it hits October, this signals a cooler temperature. According to the NOAA website, the U.S. should expect a cooler north. The winter outlook indicates below-normal temperatures are happening from the Pacific Northwest into the Northern Plains. This could also mean one thing: it is a difficult time of year to be driving.
To help you and others to stay safe, I have compiled a detailed list of tips on driving in the dark. Each year, driving on dark and snowy roads can be dangerous. It could make you vulnerable to road accidents, which could get you seriously injured.
Use the lights properly
- Do not even attempt to drive at night if your lights are not working. It is illegal — and extremely dangerous! — to drive at night so be sure to do checks on your front and rear lights. Always inspect if they are all working.
- If you see a bulb that immediately needs changing, please do so because you could be stopped by the police for not being properly geared.
- Moreover, you should use the lights in accordance to their function. Switch on your headlights just before sunset in order to make that you are visible to other motorists. Use it on full beam whenever you enter unlit roads. This is to help you see what is ahead of you more clearly. However, if you see another vehicle in front of you, you have to tone it down a bit so that you won’t blind them.
Do not stare directly at the headlights
- This is related to the first tip. If ever you see headlights on full beam, do not look at it directly. You will be dazzled and blinded by the strong glare of lights. It will surely momentarily impair your senses, making you loss control and panic.
- It is best to look to the left side and follow the markings on the road. If the glare is too much for you to handle, slow down or better yet pull over. Wait for the car to pass you by and proceed when it’s all clear. Just make sure to not stop abruptly as you don’t want to startle the car travelling behind you.
Always clean the windows
- Dirt and residue can accumulate on your windows. This build-up can affect road visibility, so be sure you made time to clean your windows before you start your journey.
- During cold weather conditions, windscreens are prone to steaming up. Meanwhile, the car heater can emit dirty air, creating a hazy film on the glass windows. If you don’t clean this up, it will increase the glare from the headlights.
Don’t just watch out for cars!
- The road is not just full of vehicles, but you get to see people traveling on foot such passersby, children, hikers, and even animals. Please be careful when you are driving around schools because you could accidentally bump into innocent children and the elderly.
More tips will be discussed on Tips for Driving in the Dark (Part 2)