TIPS FOR NIGHT DRIVING
1 August, 2017
Some people may feel that driving at night is more exhausting compared to driving during the day, mostly because of sight distance and eye concentration. Even so, perhaps some of you must drive at night anyhow due to necessity and work demands. Here are some tips for a smooth and safe night driving:
- Before you go, make sure that your car is in good condition, mainly its lighting system. Check your car’s signal lamps, brake light, and headlamps. If one of them is not functioning, have it repaired immediately. Remember that good vehicle lighting is crucial for night driving.
- Make sure to keep your body fit and that you’ve had enough sleep. Take a nap sufficiently.
- Do not drive alone. Bring a friend to accompany you. You can talk with each other to drive away sleepiness. It’s even better if your friend can drive too, that way he/she can take turn driving when you get tired.
- Make sure you know the route very well.
- If it’s your first time to take a new route, drive your car at normal speed. Driving fast on the road that you barely know is highly risky since you are not yet familiar with the contour of the road, which includes hills, slopes, curves, damaged roads, etc.
- If you get sleepy while driving, do some treatments to get rid of drowsiness.
- Use high-beam headlights only when it’s necessary. High beams are very sensitive to drivers coming from opposite direction.
- Road at night is relatively less hectic. However, you are not allowed to be unmindful and inattentive of your surroundings.
- Be aware that other drivers might have unpredicted attitude on the road. Therefore, anticipate it by giving more space for them.
- If you are driving for a long distance, make a regular stop every 2 hours to relax your eyes.
- Maintain good driving behavior and etiquette on the road.
- If you often drive at night, it’s advisable that you check your eyes routinely to maintain their healthiness.
Night is a time naturally designed for resting. No wonder anyone will often feel sleepy during a night drive. You are getting sleepy when you have these symptoms:
- Your eyes are getting red.
- Often blinking or having heavy eyes.
- Daydreaming, hard to focus.
- Yawning or scrubbing eyelids repeatedly.
- Anxious and easily irritated.
- When you are on a straight road, you find that car’s direction is not straight or sometimes even inclined to either left or right.
- You often forget or miss a turn.
If you have such indications, do these few following tips to fight drowsiness:
- Drive with your hands in balance position, that is to place your hands on the steering wheel grip at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock position. Put your right elbow on the area near interior car door to help you stabilize the steering wheel.
- Eat some candy. Get some stock of candy with mint, coffee or other flavors in your car. The motion of chewing gum or candy can decrease drowsiness.
- Do some tongue exercises. Slide the tip of your tongue to tickle your palate. This motion will stimulate brain nerves so that you won’t get sleepy. If you are accompanied by a friend, you can ask your friend to give a massage on the back of your neck and on the back of your head.
- If you have a chance to stop, do some little exercises with your head, hands, body, and feet. Exercising is an effective way to get rid of sleepiness.
If all efforts to avoid drowsiness are not successful, stop your car immediately in a safe place. Get some rest until sleepiness disappears. You can also take turns driving with passengers in your car. Do not push yourself to continue driving, because the risks of drowsy driving are not only affecting yourself but also other road users.