It’s summer-let’s go! Tips for safe driving into the sun and into the dark
The long days of summer will likely have many of us out and about and on the road! They will also likely have us staying out late enjoying the weather, the parks, and the lakes causing us to have to drive home at night. Here are some daytime and nighttime driving tips that will keep you safe all summer long!
The sun’s glare can really hamper our ability to see when we are driving. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can minimize accidents due to the blinding sun!
Sunglasses – make sure you have a pair of sunglasses (polarized would be best) in your car at all times.
Give yourself room – we suggest following the two-second (or more) rule - this is the idea that your car should pass a fixed object two seconds after the car ahead of you.
Slow down – leaving more distance between cars allows you more time to stop, keeping your speed down can be life-saving!
Tint your windows – getting your windows tinted can help a great deal to minimize the impact of the sun on your peripheral vision while you are driving.
Windshield cleaning – stop daily or every other day to get your windshield free of bugs, smudges, and other potential obstructions to your vision.
Clear the clutter – make sure you take all the papers, baubles and clutter off your dashboard that may impact your view.
Even though you don’t have to stare into the blinding sun, nighttime driving also has some major disadvantages. Here are some tips to help you drive more safely after dark:
Be defensive – be ultra-defensive at night – assume that other drivers are impaired by alcohol, medications, or tiredness.
Avoid driving while tired – being tired makes night vision and driving even more difficult, so avoid it when you can. Keep your eyes moving continuously back and forth to help you stay awake and to help you spot potential dangers.
Replace your windshield - pits that aren't noticeable to the naked eye can drastically affect night time driving. We don't think about it because we normally have to replace them for large cracks. If your windshield hasn't been replaced in a while it's probably time.
Get headlights adjusted – often lights can get jostled and jarred through use. Getting your lights checked for proper alignment can ensure that your headlights are helping you to see around your car at night. Also, keep your headlights clean to make sure you can see at night.
Polish your headlights - new research from AAA reveals that clouded or yellowed headlights generate only 20 percent of the amount of light that new headlights do, leading to dangerous nighttime driving conditions.
High beams – when able, be sure to use your high beams in order to improve your vision and to see potential obstacles at greater distances.
Dim the dashboard – your dashboard lighting may actually impair your vision of the road. Dimming them at night can improve your ability to see outside the vehicle.
Go cruising – using your cruise control at night will help eliminate a distraction and will help you to stay at a speed that allows you to slow down if necessary.
Whether you are driving into the bright summer sun or into a dark moonless night, seeing potential dangers can be difficult. Apply these tips! They are certain to help you get to your destinations safely, so you can enjoy all that summer has to offer.