Do you avoid driving after dark? Studies show that driving at night puts drivers at a much greater risk of an accident than driving during the day. This is because we rely so much on our eyesight to drive, and at night our sight is much more limited. It’s important to follow some basic safety tips so you can stay safe on the road at night.
Your car’s headlights have two main settings: low beams and high beams. Both are designed to allow you to see better when driving at night, as well as allow other drivers to spot you more easily.
When should I use my high beams?
High beams are designed to provide better visibility when driving in rural areas where street lights aren’t common. You should use your high beams if you’re driving at night and you aren’t within 200-300 feet of another driver. If you do approach another car, switch to your low beams until you’re safely out of the way.
Tip: You might be tempted to use your high beams in heavy fog, but this is a bad idea! The water particles from the fog will reflect the light and actually make it more difficult to see. Keep your low beams on so other cars can see you.
What if someone else is blinding me with their high beams?
If someone is driving toward you with their high beams on, don’t look directly at it. This will hinder your eyesight even after the car passes, and can be irritating to your eyes. Instead, try to look at the right edge of your lane so you know you’re staying safely in your lane. NEVER respond by turning your own high beams on–impairing the vision of the other driver isn’t safe!
If someone is driving behind you with their high beams on, there are a few things you can do to divert the light. Flipping your rear view mirror to the “up” position will prevent it from reflecting the light directly into your eyes.
Your best option is to try and get away from the inconsiderate driver. Slow down, make a right turn, or consider pulling over so the other driver can safely pass. If you’re on a highway, make sure you are in the right lane so you aren’t blocking their way.