Archive for the ‘headlights’ Tag

Driving at Night: 5 Tips for Driving Safety

Have you ever thought about the unique dangers of driving at night? If you’re like most drivers, the answer is probably no. But according to the National Safety Council, traffic death rates are almost three times greater at night than during the day.

Driving at night is more dangerous for several reasons. In addition to being able to see less at night, your depth perception and peripheral vision are also severely limited at night. All of these can have a major impact on your reaction time on the road.

In addition to limited visibility at night, most of us are usually more fatigued at night, which can make concentrating on the road more difficult. This driving reality, accompanied with the stress of your day-to-day activities, can also distract you and put you at a higher risk for a traffic accident.

Luckily, you can take a few steps to protect yourself and minimize the dangers of driving at night. Here are 5 driving safety tips for driving at night to help you stay safe on the road:

1. Do a Quick Car Safety Check-Up

Before you drive at night, make sure your headlights, taillights and signal lights are clean and working properly. If you’re driving alone, you can back up to a shop window, press your brakes, and watch your rearview mirror for your brake lights to show in the window’s reflection. You should also consider taking your car to the shop and making sure your headlights are properly aimed. Mis-aimed headlights can blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.

2. Avoid Driving Distractions

While you should never use your cell phone while driving or engage in other distracted driving activities, these behaviors should be particularly avoided at night when your visibility is poor and already reduced.

3. Be A More Courteous Driver

Even if you are on a road that you are familiar with, you should reduce your speed and increase the distance between the car in front of you when driving at night. This will give you more space and time to react in case the car in front of you does something unexpected.

4. Use Your Headlights

Even if it’s dusk, it is always better to turn on your headlights. While headlights may not help you see the road better, they will make it easier for other drivers to see you. But remember to keep your headlights on low beams so you don’t blind the drivers in front of you.

5. Get Your Eyes Checked

As people get older, it is more important than ever to have your eyes checked every year for conditions such as cataracts that can affect night time driving. If you wear glasses, you should talk to your eye-care provider about special anti-glare glasses that can help you see better at night.

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Lights Out? Check Vehicle Lighting

Fall is here and its arrival means fewer hours of daylight and upcoming holiday travel. Before hitting the road, it is a wise idea to make sure your vehicle’s lights are in proper working order, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

“Lights play a critical role in safe driving, as the chance of an accident increases if you can’t see or be seen,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “From the driver’s seat you may not notice a light that isn’t working, so inspect all of your car’s lights and replace those that are out.”

Lights are normal wear items that require periodic inspection and replacement. The vehicle lighting system provides nighttime visibility; signals and alerts other drivers; and supplies light for viewing instruments and the vehicle’s interior. In addition to replacing dimming, rapidly blinking and non-functioning lights, the following tips can help keep you safe:

Keep headlights, tail lights and signal lights clean. External dirt and debris can dim operational lights from being seen by others.

Make sure that your headlights are properly aimed. Misaimed headlights blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.

If there is any doubt on whether or not your headlights should be on, turn them on. Lights not only help you see better in early twilight, they also make it easier for other drivers to see you.

Don’t overdrive your headlights; you should be able to stop inside the illuminated area, otherwise you are creating a blind crash area in front of your vehicle.

“Some states have laws that require the headlights to be on with the wipers,” said White. “Keeping your vehicle’s lights properly cared for and replacing wiper blades periodically will help ensure a safer ride, keeping the road ahead well-lit and giving you a clear view.”

For more information on vehicle lighting, service interval schedules, questions to ask a technician and tips to drive smart and save money, view the Car Care Council’s free digital Car Care Guide online at

The non-profit Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit

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