Poor visibility is a factor in many automobile accidents. In fact, you probably know individuals who avoid driving at night because they feel unsafe. Of course, many auto owners have no choice because they work shifts that require them to commute before sunrise or after sunset or they actually drive for a living.
If you do a lot of driving at night or in bad weather, the team at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair counsels that you take some simple steps to improve your visibility when driving at night and lessen your risk of being involved in a collision.
Some drivers never think about their headlamps until a bulb goes completely out and they receive a citation. (You are much more conscientious about auto maintenance, right?) Just like tires, headlamps get continually jolted and shifted around with normal driving. This not only makes visibility worse for you, it can blind other drivers on the road, increasing the danger. To make sure your headlamps are pointing at the correct angle, call I-86 Truck & Auto Repair to schedule headlight service.
Headlights also get dirty and over time. You can clean them yourself or have your service specialist at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair clean them during a headlight service or other appointment. You will be amazed at how much more powerful your bulbs are when they don't have to penetrate road grime, pits, scratches, and oxidation. Speaking of pits and scratches, ask us about complete headlamp restoration which is the best way to be certain that your headlamps are as powerful as possible.
Fog lights can improve visibility considerably. If you live where it's frequently foggy and your vehicle doesn't have fog lights, talk to us about putting some on your vehicle.
An obscured windshield can decrease visibility significantly. Whether it's dirt, snow, ice, rain, dead bugs, or bird droppings—make sure it doesn't build up on your window. Replacing your wiper blades when needed and keeping your washing solution reservoir full is critical. If you find yourself in a blizzard or foggy conditions, it may be better to stop and wait for the weather to clear up.
Many beginning drivers ed classes start with instructions for adjusting your mirrors for your height. This is still wise advice. Keep in mind that if your side mirrors are angled straight back, they can reflect the lights from a car behind you directly into your eyes. If you have experienced this, you know how dangerous it is. You can adjust your side mirror to prevent this, thought it might require you to move a bit to be able to see your way clear when changing lanes.
Minimize Interior Light
This may seem counterintuitive, but bright dash lights reduce your night vision. You may have never even used your instrument panel dimmer control, but now is the time to find it. Here is an interesting factoid on this subject from Popular Mechanics:
"Racers take the nighttime driving very seriously—in fact, endurance racers and rally drivers cover their dashboards with black felt to avoid stray reflections. While you shouldn't do that in a road car, we like to turn down the dash brightness quite a bit."
Know Where to Keep Your Eyes
Our eyes are naturally enticed by light. Fight the impulse to stare into oncoming headlights. Concentrate the white line.
Prescription Eyeglasses Only
The American Optometric Association cautions against wearing non-prescription sunglasses claimed to improve night vision, regardless of the claims. Only wear prescription glasses (non-shaded) for nighttime driving. Also keep in mind that eyeglasses with thick frames can cover vision. Your optometrist can also prescribe glasses with an anti-reflective coating that can help when traveling at night.
Take Frequent Breaks
Driving at night with diminished visibility requires more concentration and staring at oncoming headlights can even be somewhat hypnotizing (picture Kaa the cobra in Jungle Book). If you are planning a long road trip, schedule frequent breaks to rest your eyes and brain. Speaking of road trips, I-86 Truck & Auto Repair recommends scheduling a safety inspection prior to your next adventure. Call 716-665-2501 today to schedule.