Driving tips for safety at night

Just you, the open road and the moonlight up above... Driving at night can be a pleasant...

Just you, the open road and the moonlight up above... Driving at night can be a pleasant experience, but make sure that it stays that way with these five driving tips for safety at night.

1. Be safe, be seen

Driving at night presents a very different challenge than driving during the day. The roads can be less busy, but make no mistake: They are no less dangerous. To be safe, you must be seen, and LED bulbs are now becoming a very popular headlight choice. They have an extremely long life-span, which will decrease the chances of a malfunctioning bulb. You will need to find a mechanic to ensure that you are getting fitted with the correct size and type of bulbs, and that they meet legal requirements. LED bulbs are also available for turning indicators and flashing lights, and are especially useful for nighttime driving because the brighter illumination lets other drivers see you more easily.

2. Take regular breaks

The ability to see diminishes at night and fatigue can set in, which can lead to simple mistakes. Make sure that you have not taken any medications that may make you drowsy, and ensure that you are adequately rested and have eaten properly. If you start to feel tired, find a safe place to pull over and rest. If it's safe to do so where you pulled over, get out of the car and move around for five minutes to help keep you alert. And tired or not, keep your phone use to a minimum while you're driving; even hands-free headsets can be a distraction.

3. Dim your dashboard

Your instrument panel and dashboard lights can be very bright and cause an unwanted glare. It's essential to dim your dashboard, particularly if you are planning a long journey, because this will stop the lights compromising your forward vision.

4. Wipe your windshield

A cotton or microfiber cloth is a really useful addition to your glove compartment because streaks on your windshield can cause glare and distraction during nighttime driving. Do not touch the inside of your windshield, windows or mirrors with your hand; this will cause smudges for the light to catch.

5. Maintenance checks are essential

Ensure that your car has regular maintenance checks with your Atlanta-area mechanic to help avoid the risk of a breakdown. You do not want to be faced with problems in the dark that could put you in a vulnerable position. Change the oil every 3,000 miles or three months, check coolant levels, check the brake fluid, test the brakes and ensure that the tires are examined regularly.

Follow these five driving tips and you'll be better equipped for driving in the dark.

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