Driving at night tips

Beyond just bodily injury, collisions can raise auto insurance rates and wreak havoc on your car. While motorists experience the dangers of driving in the dark firsthand, they don't always know how to handle them. According to the National Safety Council, night driving is accompanied by a three times greater death rate than driving in the daylight. Follow these tips to boost your confidence about driving at night.

Be prepared
A huge part of reaction for drivers is their ability to see, and darkness impairs that. Expand the capacity of your vision by preparing your car's light sources before you drive. Clean the inside and outside of headlights, taillights and signal lights on a regular basis. Conduct routine maintenance checks to make sure those lights are not just clean but working properly as well. Your windows should also be clean to maximize visibility. Be sure to wipe down the inside of your car's windshield to prevent glare.

Handling headlights
Having your headlights properly aligned will optimize the light coverage they provide and keep them from blinding other drivers. You might need to readjust your headlights if you have extra weight in the back end of your car such as luggage for a vacation. Headlights can also just become misaligned over time. Evaluate your car's alignment by facing your lights directly at a vertical, flat surface like your garage door while your vehicle sits on an even surface.

Using low beams when following another vehicle will make it easier for them to see. What happens when other drivers don't take as much care to adjust their head lamps? To avoid the glare of bright headlights, make sure your windows are clear of smudges. Use the side of the road as your guide so you don't have to look directly into oncoming headlights.

Taking extra precautions when driving
One way to compensate for your increased reaction time at night is to keep a safe following distance behind other vehicles on the road. Space yourself out more than you normally would. Though you should always be alert while driving, pay extra attention while driving at night. Other drivers on the road also experience the same night-driving difficulties as you and might not be as prepared. To give yourself even more time to react, decrease your driving speed. This allows the lights from your car to stretch out further and expand your line of view.

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