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Night Driving Safety Tips to Improve Visibility & Awareness
Personal Safety

Night Driving Safety Tips to Improve Visibility & Awareness


With the right strategies & a little preparation, you can keep your night drives safe & serene

Building on last week’s National Safety Month theme, today we’ll be covering some essential tips to battle the uncertainty and poor visibility of night drives.

When the sun goes down, you’ll have to contend with everything from darkness to fatigue, glares from other drivers’ headlights, and more. 

But with the following night driving safety tips, you can lay the groundwork to maximize your visibility and heighten your environmental awareness for a drive that’s as safe as possible.


Boost Your Visibility & Awareness With These Night Driving Safety Tips

Plan & Study Your Route in Advance

This night driving safety tip is mainly for when you’re entirely new to or unfamiliar with the route you’ll be taking. If you don’t have the way memorized, plug it into your preferred maps app and take some time to study it before you head out. 

Apps like Google and Apple maps are programmed by default to provide the fastest route to your destination, which can sometimes lead you down side roads, through neighborhoods, or other less traveled shortcuts. 

Getting to know your route beforehand will remove the risk of any unexpected turns and help you keep your focus centered on driving. Plus, if you don’t like the directions you’re given, you can safely change them while you’re at a complete stop rather than in the middle of your drive.


Clean & Maintain Your Lights

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your tail lights, headlights, brake lights, turn signals, fog lights, etc., is one of the simplest and most direct ways to improve your visibility at night. To help prevent your lights from fogging up over time, wax them regularly and invest in a surface protectant that shields them from sun damage.


Keep Your Windshield, Side, & Rearview Mirrors Clean

Dirt, grime, water spots, dried washer fluid, and dead bugs can all hurt your visibility on the road. Check your mirrors and windows before you put the car in drive and give them a touch up if necessary. Your safety is well worth the few minutes it’ll take to clean them.

If you don’t already, you might want to keep a small cleaning kit in your car for easy access in these situations.


Drive Defensively

If you haven’t checked out our guide on defensive driving yet, we highly recommend it. There, you’ll find a slew of techniques that are crucial for driving safely at night, such as reducing your speed and increasing your following distance from the cars in front of you.

Low visibility means you have much less time to react to other drivers’ mistakes, hazards lying in the road, and animals running out in front of your car. A good rule of thumb for following distance at night is to bump the typical three-second rule up to five to six seconds.


Put Your High Beams & Fog Lights to Good Use

There’s no better time to break out the high beams than at night—especially if you’re cruising down unfamiliar roads. Just make sure you aren’t shining them toward oncoming traffic or the drivers in front of you.

The same goes for fog lights. If your car has them, they’re a great way to deal with the double trouble of a dark, foggy night. But be considerate of other drivers when using them.


Don’t Drive Tired (Not Even a Little)

We’ve all been tempted to push through fatigue while behind the wheel. 

“It’s only twenty more minutes…” 

But no destination is so important that it’s worth risking your life over. And at night, when visibility is already low, ignoring your body’s signals can have disastrous consequences. 

So, even if you only feel a little tired, find a safe spot to park, call a friend or loved one and let them know the situation, or switch with a passenger who has the energy to drive. Sleepiness can creep up fast, especially if you’ve already been driving for a while, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


Don’t Assume Sidewalks, Crosswalks, & Bike Lanes Are Empty

Generally, there’s less vehicle and pedestrian traffic at night. But when it comes to public pathways like sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes, you can never be too careful.

Always pay extra attention to these areas when driving at night, and never automatically assume they’re empty. Check and double-check to ensure there aren’t any pedestrians or cyclists sharing the road with you.

Heightened awareness in these situations can save a life.


Make Sure You Can Get Roadside Assistance if You Need it

Many car insurance policies come with roadside assistance in case you get a flat tire, lock yourself out, need a jumpstart, or need your car towed. This service can be a lifesaver if you experience car trouble at night, especially in an unfamiliar area.

Additionally, you’ll want to have a plan in case of emergencies. 911 is the typical go-to option, but depending on your situation, you may not have the time or physical ability to talk on the phone and answer the dispatcher’s questions. Plus, if you don’t know where you are, how will you tell them where to find you?

At best, they’ll be able to narrow down your location to a general area, but in many crisis scenarios, that level of accuracy doesn’t cut it.

But with the Rescu app, you can dispatch first responders to your current location via GPS with just two taps on your smartphone. No talking, no muddling through a vague description of where you might be. Simply select the service you need (fire, police, or ambulance) and tap Send Alert. 

Within seconds, Rescu’s 24/7 subscriber-dedicated monitoring center will notify the nearest first response team and dispatch them to your GPS coordinates. 

Rescu is no-nonsense emergency assistance, with response times twenty times faster than 911. Visit our website to learn more about how Rescu can protect you wherever your night drives take you, and use the buttons below to download today.

Download on Apple Get it on Google Play

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