Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tips : Night Driving

WhenTalking| Tips : Night Driving  Between 12 midnight and 6 a.m. is the riskiest time for crashes, because there are fewer drivers yet more accidents than any other time of the day. Upcoming holidays may put you in situations where you want to drive through the night to get somewhere, but if you do intend to drive at night, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Safe night driving requires preparation, alertness, and a heavy dose of common sense.
Make sure your headlights are properly aimed. Check with your car's service manual or a professional for the proper procedure. Also make sure all other lights work.

Keep your headlights and windshield clean. Being able to see other cars and be seen by other drivers helps a lot! If it's bug season, stop and wipe them off at each break.

Don't overdrive your headlights. Especially when driving on smaller roads without reflector strips, follow a four-second rule. Take note of where the far reach of your low beams are, then count four seconds. If you pass that original place in less than four seconds, then you are going too fast. Two to three seconds may be an acceptable range for major highways with reflector strips. Remember that posted speed limits are for driving in daylight with dry road conditions.

Use high beams wisely. The use of high-beam headlights when there isn't oncoming traffic can extend the time that you have to react to hazards. Never use your high beams because the high beams of the oncoming car stay on. This will only increase the chances of a head-on crash.

Don't look at oncoming headlights. Focus on the edges of oncoming traffic and bright objects, as staring directly into headlights can blind you for up to five seconds until your eyes adjust.

Look around. Keep your eyes moving from side to side, rather than focusing only on the centerline and the road ahead, to help your eyes stay adjusted to the dark and avoid falling victim to "highway hypnosis," a state in which reaction time is greatly impaired.

Wear sunglasses during the day. Wearing sunglasses during bright days helps keep your eyes more sensitive for driving in the dark.

Always carry flares or reflectors for a breakdown. Keep them in a place where they can be easily accessed in an emergency.

If you're tired, get off the road and sleep. If you feel sleepy, caffeine can never be a substitute for sleep, nor is loud music or rolling down the windows. Pull over and rest, and stop every two hours for a break out of the car even if you're not feeling sleepy. Don't set out on a trip tired. Change your schedule and get some rest first.

Another important reminder: This time of the year, when days suddenly get much shorter due to the end of Daylight Saving Time, more pedestrians are out walking in the dark during peak evening traffic hours. "Drivers have to be especially careful now, because pedestrian fatalities have been shown each year to quadruple during the period just after Daylight Saving Time ends," said Jim Rink of AAA Michigan, citing an American Journal of Public Health report. Remember to turn your headlights on by dusk and slow down!

hopefully you safe while on the road at night