Driving at night is not an easy game, it is even harder if it is raining. Some night driving tips for truckers are.
- Be aware of weather conditions.
- Do not drive drowsy, pull out, park and sleep if you feel sleepy.
- Be proactive, leave space for other`s mistakes.
- Clear the distractions like dashboard lights, GPS screen and other distractive objects on the dashboard.
- Keep windshield clean. Sometimes there is dust inside of the windshield.
- Ensure full lighting on the vehicle
- Be aware of surroundings, pedestrians, cyclists and other off-road objects.
- Do not look straight on the lights of oncoming traffic.
My personal suggestion is to avoid night driving. But sometimes it is necessary for you to drive at night and you can’t avoid it. So, let’s have some night driving tips, which can make your night, I mean day.
Check Weather conditions
Just spend a few minutes to check the weather conditions. If they are not good and a snowstorm or icy rain outside, say a big no to driving. Nothing is necessary than your life and wellness. If you are still driving, then avoid lonely road in bad weathers because help in case of some problem is very difficult in such conditions. Try to keep on the road, off-road driving is risky at nights.
Sleep enough and Rest properly
Rest is a must for driving. If you are feeling sleepy and still driving, you are putting your life as well as others in danger. Just find a safe parking area on roadside and sleep. It is much better to rest properly and complete your sleep before hitting the road. Make it sure before going on a ride, that you have sufficient sleep. If you are a driver and compromising with sleep, I am sorry to say, bro, you can’t go long and you are killing yourself.
Most dangerous time for night driving is between 02:00 Am to 05:00 Am. This time is the hardest time when you are driving at night. A human body is designed to sleep at night. If you are a newbie for night driving, then you will realize it and if you are experienced, then you know it well. So, it is wise to avoid this time to drive.
Maintain a safe distance, be proactive
Always maintain a safe distance. At night, the blind spots increase to double or three-times as compared to day time. You have limited visibility and less responsive brain. So, if you are driving at a safer distance, your brain has more time to think and your body has more time to act.
Leaving space for other`s mistakes is best practice driving either in day or night.
Distractions, glares, speed limit, and road signs.
Screens, lights, stereo displays are the biggest obstacles in clear view. Road signs, speed limits are hard to see with distractions.
Do not look directly oncoming traffic lights, look to the side of the roadway.
They have not put those speed boards everywhere to just watch and to ignore them. They are just for you. So don’t rush, it is better to follow the speed limits. A safe speed can take a couple of more minutes, but gives a lot in return like control over your gear, good tire & machine life and sometimes your or others’ life too.
Life is very precious and your body too. Once I felt the importance of body parts while talking to a former driver without a leg, which he lost due to over-speeding. I still remember his words, “If I had controlled my driving speed that day then today, I will have my control in my life.”
Be-aware of pedestrian, cyclists, and animals
On the highways, where there is no road-side fencing or low fencing, there is always a chance of hitting by an animal. These animals are region based, so in Australia, kangaroo and camels are big dangerous. In the USA or Canada, dears can strike yo and in India, cows and dogs are the big dangers.
Due to limited visibility, pedestrian and cyclists crossing the road are big hurdles, when you are driving in a populated area. They have no night lights or nothing like something that reflects from a safe distance. So be careful and slow down in cities or towns.
It is a common Proverb among drivers, “keep everything open at night”. They just mean your senses. So, keep eyes, ears, and mind at alert, when you are driving at night. Don’t play music so loud that you will be unable to listen outside. Stay focused on the road.
Eat wisely, stay hydrated
Eat but not that much, that you start feeling asleep. It is the human body and needs blood as well as other body parts to focus on digestion when you have something in your stomach. At the same time, the brain and other senses need blood to focus on driving. But as per the design of the human body, priority will be given to digestion. Thus your brain and other senses can’t respond well. So, just eat and don’t overeat. Prefer a balanced diet.
The right amount of water is always good in life. So, take enough amount of water. It will help to keep awake and avoid fatigue as well as maintain concentration.
Listen to music while driving
Listen to music to avoid asleep but not too loud. I recommend the radio. It is a great thing you can enjoy while driving. Now a day internet radio is an excellent option. If you belong to some other region than where you are driving, then too, you can have a reach to your community, their news and availability of the music of your taste. It will not let you get bored and keep the sleep away.
Bring the freshness
If you started feeling sleepy or tired. Then stop for a while, leave your seat, jump out. Inhale enough fresh air, stretch a little bit. If there is a restroom or bathroom nearby, use it. Rinse your eye with cool water at least for 4-5 minutes.
Be prepared for:
- Light glares from traffic at the opposite side.
- Poor Visibility.
- More blind spots.
- Lesser food options.
Following are some important checks, which you should care about if you are going for a night drive:
- Fuel is the most important thing. Make it sure, before you press the accelerator.
- Connect the keys and watch all the gauges carefully.
- Test you front and rear lights, fog lights, reflectors, and indicators once. Make it sure that they are working properly.
- Clean your windshields as well as mirrors very carefully.
- Check your wipers, if they are working properly.
- Set the mirrors properly.
- Keep the batteries charged of the phone and other devices.
- Check the air pressure.
- If you can afford, install Night vision dashcam.
Here is a list of things, which you should carry with you while driving:
- Water bottles for drinking & food for regular as well as emergency use.
- Keep newspaper to clean windscreens, mirrors.
- Flares & triangle for the case of midway break-down.
- Water cans for external use
- Winch cables & tire inflators