Tips for Driving at Night
If you’re doing very much of traveling this week (and any week!) and you plan on driving at night, keep these golden tips from William Van Tassel, Ph.D. in safety manager of driver training programs at the AAA National Office. Whether it’s poor visibility and general driving frustration, he’s got tips for most situations you’ve encountered. Stay (and drive) very safe, everyone!
(Note from Ree: I need this! In the last 10 years, I’ve found that more and more, I get sleepy when I drive at night. I would too like to add that 80’s music helps me. 80’s music helps everyone!)
Slow it down
We find that a lot of drivers are driving very fast for conditions at night. If there is only one thing you take away from these tips: you require to adjust your speed,” says William. “A lot of people don’t realize that driving at full night is an adverse condition, just like rain or snow. There is a more big chance of something unexpected happening. So reduce your big speed. If you can’t stop within your headlight projection, you’re going very very fast.
Keep your distance.
As a rule of thumb, the riskiest situation is following closely. The closer you are, the less time you have to respond to whatever is happening in front of you. The standard following distance is three seconds behind the car in front of you, but at full night in ideal conditions, it should be four seconds. If there are additional adverse conditions, like fog, big rain, or snow, add more second. It gives you more time to respond and react, and the right amount of space to do that,” says William.
Blinded by the light?
If headlights are blinding you from the lane right next to you, there is a very simple and effective technique that can help, says William. “As the car is about to pass you, look out your windshield, down and to the right at white line on your side of the road. You use that white line as your very special guide. Then as soon as the car goes by getting back to scanning the road ahead of you. Another thing that can assist, is dimming your dashboard lights.
Give yourself a break
Regular breaks always your help, take one every two hours. Walk do jumping jacks, get your blood pumping,” says William. “An even good idea, don’t put yourself at risk. Try to drive at times you’d normally be awake instead of the half of the night. Your body will get tired. If you think you’re at risk find a very safe place and very sleep or get a hotel room. Or try the 2/20 solution, if you’re within 60 miles of your destination and you’re feeling tired, stop and drink two cups of tea and coffee and then take a 20-minute nap. While you’re taking a big power nap the caffeine will kick into your system and you will able to continue. You can only do it once though!
To avoid stress or general holiday road rage, take preventative actions before you get disturbed. Find something that works for you and that will keep you calm and in good spirits. Find music you love and like like to drive to or a book on tape. Be prepared to do whatever helps you feel best,” says William.
Make sure you're seen
The human eye is attracted to movement, so to alert drivers behind you that you’re slowing down or getting ready to brake, tap the brake pedal lightly some times. The flashing light will catch their eye.”
What driving tricks do you have?
Wishing all of you a very happy and very safe ride to wherever you’re headed!