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Driving After Dark

Driving at Night
Photo: iStockphoto

I won't lie to you - I sometimes get a little panicky in the car when it starts to get dark. I have to concentrate and remind myself that I'm not going blind…it's just the sun going down.

Here in Canada, with our dark, dark winters, driving confidently in the dark is an important skill to master. Here are a few safety reminders to help us all stay alert and safe when driving at night…or on our early morning commute.

Keep your headlights free of grime. When your headlights are covered by gritty slush, your visibility is greatly reduced. Not only are you not able to see as far, but oncoming traffic may not see you.

Avoid the glare. Not everyone remembers to switch their high beams to low when they see another car coming, which means you're getting their high beams right in the face. To avoid being blinded by the glare, look to the right shoulder and follow the white line marking the edge of the traffic lane. To avoid headlight glare from cars behind you, put your rear view mirror in down flip (night mode) to reduce the glare.

Don't overdrive your headlights. Never drive so fast that you can't stop within the distance illuminated by your headlights. Reduce your speed and keep a sharp eye out for pedestrians, cyclists and animals.

Be awake. Driver fatigue is one of the top 20 causes of traffic accidents. Be sure and take frequent breaks to refresh yourself and stay alert. Stop for a snack, stretch your legs…or, if you feel yourself nodding off, pull over and take a short nap.

Stay cool. Driving in the dark can be nerve-wracking, even for seasoned drivers. Remember to take a few deep breaths to calm any anxiety and feel in control!

Do you have any dark driving tips? Leave them in the comments!

- Rose R.

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