Driving at night is plain scary. It is hard to see anything. We don’t see colors. Our peripheral vision is reduced. Lines on the road don’t show clearly. People over 40 begin to notice these details about themselves and stop driving or at least limit driving at night.
Cars have headlights and most roads are marked and the center lines can be seen. What is the problem? Why is it so difficult to drive at night? If we are familiar with the roads we’re currently driving, there is usually less of a problem, but problems still exist.
People turn on strong headlights and forget to turn them down when approaching oncoming vehicles or when following vehicles. They blind drivers.
One of the biggest problems is the white lights people put on cars blinding oncoming drivers so that they cannot see anything for a few seconds until the car or truck has passed. While we are blinded by those few seconds we see nothing, no marks on the highway, no highway, no curve, no drop-offs on the edge of the road. No nothing. I wonder how many accidents have occurred because of those lights.
Maybe the greatest fear of driving at night is the fear itself. We drive slower, or we should because we cannot see past the headlights. When we walk in the dark we fear because of the same thing. We can not see what is out there hiding behind a sign or bush. While driving we are going faster and cannot see a deer or animal running out into our way. More accidents occur at night involving pedestrian people.
Father George Rutler, a New York pastor, urges people not to drive at night just for these reasons. It is not always safe.
Driving on roads with which we are not familiar, we may lose our way as we cannot see or read the road signs. Trying to find our way while trying to navigate the roads can be difficult. It is dark. The roads may not have lights and the road may not have any marks. I once went down an up one-way street at night. I got a ticket but I did not die or have an accident though it was a busy thoroughfare.
In a coastal or mountainous area with curving one-lane roads and narrow bridges, driving can be difficult. Hard on the mountains on one side and drop-offs on the other, it can be dangerous even if the drive is short.
To prepare the car for night driving there are some tips. The first is simply cleaning the windshield. Second, clean the headlight. Make sure they shine where they should shine.
Next, have a good GPS. Most of us use cell phones and can have an app on the phone. Learn to use it. A good app that talks the instructions leaves the driver free to drive, not look at the map. Always carry an extra blanket and water.
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