Travel safely at night this December
11 December 2012.
Driving at night can be daunting for many people, particularly during the busy December period. If you do decide to travel at night, the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) has provided the following hints and tips essential for travelling safely after dark:
- Do everything you would do during the day, for example check the mirrors, buckle up, get the hands free kit connected and ensure your car is 100% roadworthy.
- Make sure all your headlight settings, dashboard and interior lights are functional.
- An approaching vehicle that refuses to dim its lights can prove to be dangerous and distracting; should this happen rather glance to the left hand side of your lane while keeping your peripheral vision alert to hazards.
- Although it is easier to unwittingly exceed the speed limit at night when there is less traffic, remember you need to adjust your speed so that you can stop your vehicle within the distance you can see ahead of you in your headlights.
- It is even more important to make sure that your windscreen and windows are clean when driving at night as your vision is already compromised - it is limited to as far as your headlights shine.
- Should the driver feel at all tired it is vital to either swop drivers, or stop at a well-lit filling station to rest.
- Give yourself extra time to reach your destination.
- Overtaking at night is risky as the view is limited by darkness. It is also important to remember that it is not only other cars you need to be cognisant of, but also pedestrians and cyclists who often do not wear reflective clothing and are difficult to see until they are too close.
- Clean your car lights to ensure that a buildup of grime doesn’t interfere with the light quality - also carry a spare light bulb as these can fuse at any time.
- Ensure your flash light, emergency kit and all tyre changing equipment has been checked and is ready for use.
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1180