A lot of people enjoy driving so much that they feel extremely comfortable behind the wheel. They love driving their cars through all kinds of challenges, seasons, weather conditions, and possible obstacles. They will never refuse to give you a ride or help you pick your new car.
Nevertheless, driving at night might not be as fun as driving during the day. 99% of the driving process depends on your vision, and during the night, especially when there is no lighting in the streets, your vision becomes very limited. This is why it’s important to make sure your driving skills are as good as they can possibly get – only then you can count on getting to your destination during night time quickly and safely.
Check your front and rear lights
Although big cities may have outdoor lighting that makes it easier to navigate the streets when it’s dark outside, highways and autobahns between cities often don’t have that luxury, which means the only light source for your driving will be your own car, and you don’t want your only source of light to fail!
To avoid any unwanted consequences, check your front and rear lights before you go on your night trip. First, see if they are functioning properly and responding quickly to your commands. Second, clean the headlights before the trip, as dirt and streaks can limit the light output, forcing you to see less. And don’t forget to clean your windshield too!
Stick to the speed limit
Yes, we know, driving under a speed limit on a highway is not fun at all. An empty highway with no cars in sight and no traffic police officers is so tempting that you want to press your accelerator down and rush down the road. However, your keeping to the speed limit might ultimately save your life.
What you need to understand is that traffic rules are mostly written from experience. The current speed limit for private vehicles in Nigeria is 80 km/h, and that’s exactly the speed you should keep if you want your night time car trip to be safe. Don’t risk getting into a road accident only to get to your destination a couple of minutes earlier – the better you drive, the safer you and your passengers.
Be careful not to fall asleep
If you knew how many road accidents happen due to the drivers falling asleep, you would probably stop night time driving altogether. However, there is no reason to get scared – although falling asleep behind the wheel is a real threat, you need to keep to a few rules to avoid road accidents from falling asleep.
It’s a popular myth that the best way to avoid falling asleep is to listen to music very loudly, but this myth is only half true. If you’re simply listening to music, you become even more sleepy. The secret here to sing along to the music – that way you’ll keep your brain busy and will feel less sleepy. Another good strategy is to have a co-pilot – a person that will entertain you with talking and keep you from falling asleep.
Pay attention to the road signs
As we’ve already stated, road rules come from experiences; the same goes for road signs. Modern traffic cannot be imagined without road signs and traffic regulations, and there’s a good reason all those road signs are there – every day they’re saving someone’s life.
All drivers know that road signs are illuminated, so that everyone is able to see them at any time of the day. If the road sign is telling you to keep your speed below 60km/h, not perform a U-turn at the next intersection, or watch out for animals crossing the road – you’d better follow those rules, if you don’t want to become just another figure in the gruesome road accidents statistic.
Train your vision
In the night we see things differently than during the day. During daytime you can detect colours and sharp details of any object. At night time your vision is more perceptive to lights and movement, and this is what you should keep in mind when preparing for your trip in the dark. You can also use special glasses for night time driving.
In order for your eyesight to get accustomed to driving at night, you should train before your big trip. Wait until the sun goes down, and go on a short 30-minute ride. While you’re driving, try to pay attention to how your brain perceives different object like cars and pedestrians, and how quickly it reacts to what it sees. As soon as you’re comfortable on those short trips and are confident you can detect any movement, it means you’re ready for your big ride!