Night drivers need to be awake and alert

2016-07-19 06:00
 When driving at night, you need to be extra alert to your surroundings.  PHOTO:

When driving at night, you need to be extra alert to your surroundings. PHOTO:

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Winter driving brings many challenges, one of which is that drivers spend more time driving in the dark. This creates a totally different set of challenges as one’s “risk” increases dramatically. Some of these are physical, while others are security issues.

After the sun goes down, a driver’s depth perception, colour recognition, and peripheral vision are all compromised. In addition, the driver is more likely to share the road with impaired and fatigued drivers, noticeably on many of our long distance routes.

According to research in the US, road fatalities are three times greater at night. In SA one can only imagine that this may be even worse due to the high incidence of pedestrian deaths.

Here are some night-time driving tips from MasterDrive which should make the journey somewhat safer:

. Make sure your headlights are set correctly and that they’re clean.

. Many dashboards have the option of dimming the instrument lights – if so, dim them for improved visibility.

. Don’t look directly at oncoming lights. Look to the left of the road as you will be able to see the side of the road and keep yourself orientated.

. If you wear glasses, make sure they’re anti-reflective (and clean).

. Make sure the windscreen is clean – it’s amazing how much strain a dirty screen puts on the eyes.

. Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time.

Remember to adjust your driving to suit changed circumstances.

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