[Philkotse guide] How to make night-time road trips become safer?

Updated Feb 24, 2020 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!

Read more to have better ideas about tips and guide on how to make nighttime driving safer and more comfortable.

Day time driving is already challenging, especially if you're on a busy road. Driving at night makes it more challenging. It requires special attention, and drivers who drive at night must never forget and underestimate its risks.

night driving safety

Day time driving is already challenging, especially if you're on a busy road

You don’t need to worry about night driving. All you need to do is to remember the increased level of danger during the night. Philkotse.com values your safety. That's why we prepared handy tips on how to make your night drives and trips safer.

1. Check your headlights and aim them correctly

Sometimes, even brand-new car’s headlights are pointed unevenly or lower than required. So, before going on a night trip, you need to make sure your car’s headlights are aimed correctly. If you’re doing it by yourself, you must follow the instructions on the owner’s manual.

Be very patient because you may not point it correctly for the first time you try. It might take several tries before you do it precisely. You also need to make sure your newly adjusted headlights are not blinding to other drivers.

Adjusting car headlights

You need to make sure your car’s headlights are aimed correctly

Also, remember that you need to make sure your headlights are free from road grime. Cleaning it as often as possible is required.

This is because dirt and road grime can block a properly aimed headlight and cast a dim glow. If you own an old car whose lens cover is made of plastic, chances are those covers have already faded or yellowed over the years.

The best way to remove the haze is to purchase a headlight polish kit so your headlights will illuminate brightly.

You should also inspect the amount of light your headlights produce and compare if it’s the same as they did when it's new. Old incandescent bulbs produce less light compared to new ones.

Car headlights

The best way to remove the haze is to purchase a headlight polish kit so your headlights will illuminate brightly

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2. Dim your dashboard lights and instrument panels

There’s a reason why cars have dashboard dimmer switches. Modern vehicles have large infotainment screens, and bright dashboard LED lights. These are another source of distracting and unnecessary lighting inside the vehicle, which can diminish your vision on the road.

You can dim the dashboard lights to remove its reflections on the windshield. It will help your eyes to adjust better to the darkness of the way and significantly improve nighttime visibility.

In addition, other interior lights, such as map lights, can also be a distraction during night driving. It often cast a light in the cabin.

Dashboard warning lights

You can dim the dashboard lights to remove its reflections on the windshield

>>> Check out: 6 steps for problem-free dashboard lights

3. Avoid staring at oncoming lights

During the night, bright lights can immensely disrupt your nighttime driving. Your eyes are used to the dark road ahead and the dim glow of the instrument panel inside your car.

This makes it easier for you to be distracted and stare at the headlights of the vehicle headed your way or in the bright road sign. It's best to look away from other light sources on the road and avoid looking at oncoming cars and high beams.

Car headlights

It's best to look away from other light sources on the road and avoid looking at oncoming cars and high beams

>>> Relevant article: 3 essential equipment & 5 tips for Pinoy drivers to drive safely at night

4. Use your car’s fog lights

During foggy nights, utilize your car’s fog lights because it will help you see the road better than the headlights. Using the headlights will just light up the fog ahead.

It’s better to use the fog lights because it is aimed lower. After all, fog often hangs no lower than two feet above the ground.

fog light

It’s better to use the fog lights because it is aimed lower

Fog lights shouldn’t be aimed high because it will only create glare in the fog, which can potentially blind other drivers, especially those oncoming ones.

Take note that fog lights can still be useful even if it is not foggy. It is because these lights spread wider compared to the usual low beams, which provides better visibility for areas farther beyond the shoulder of the road.

You also need to take note that fog lights mounted low of the vehicle's front fascia will produce large shadows in front of uneven potholes, bumps, and small rocks and will make them more visible.

Fog lights

During foggy nights, utilize your car’s fog lights because it will help you see the road better than the headlights

>>> Tips for you: 9 steps to choose and install fog lights

5. Lower your speed

During night trips or driving, it’s best to decrease your driving speed. You might think that speeding during the night is a good idea because there wouldn’t be much traffic.

But you must remember, there is more risk when driving at night than daytime driving. The care and caution you practice when driving during the day should be multiplied when driving during the night.

driving in the dark

During night trips or driving, it’s best to decrease your driving speed

Note that even when your car has headlights, it will still be hard to see the road ahead of you. You also have a slower reaction when driving at night than it is during daylight. This is the main reason why lower driving speed is prudent during night trips.

6. Clean and adjust exterior mirrors

Having dirty side mirrors is no different with a dirty windshield. It can also distort and reflect light, which can be another kind of distraction to the driver. 

Your dirty side mirrors will reflect the lights from the cars behind you and will create more extensive and diffused-shape lights, which will cause glare in your eyes.

This is the main reason why you need to clean them up as often as needed. You should also adjust your side mirrors to allow yourself to move your head out of the light’s path reflected in your side mirror.

car side mirror

Having dirty side mirrors is no different with a dirty windshield

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We suggest you adjust it down slightly a bit. This way, you’ll be able to see vehicles at the back by tipping your head slightly forward.

At the same time, you can keep the headlights of other cars out of your eyes. It will also prevent you from being temporarily blinded by their high beams.

Additionally, you should not forget to switch your rear-view mirrors to Auto-Dim or Night setting. This will darken the mirror, thus preventing glare.

Remember, night driving is dangerous and dreadful. During these hours, the number of road fatalities triple, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

side mirror

Remember, night driving is dangerous and dreadful

The human eyes won’t be of much help either. Our eyes are terrible during the night with peripheral vision, depth perception, and it also diminished its ability to distinguish colors.

The tips we discussed above will help traverse these dark and dangerous roads. Always keep them in mind as you drive after the sun goes down.

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez

Author

Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.