Let us just say that driving at night is not one of my favorite things to do. The limited visibility, the sleepy drivers on the road, the temporary blindness from the oncoming driver who forgot to disable their high beams all pose special hazards when you are driving at night.

In fact, while there are fewer people on the road at night, the relative percentage of accidents for that smaller number of cars is pretty high. Here is how to protect yourself with some special safety tips for driving your car after dark.

Clean the Head Lights

Today, I got an emergency call from a friend who had to meet her husband at the hospital. I got my kids in the car and went to back the car out of its spot to pick her up. The rear camera was all cloudy from the recent bad weather. It reminded me that I had to clean off my head lights. The brightness of the headlights can be reduced significantly by just a little bit of dirt. Make sure to clean your lights (and the camera if you have one) regularly.

Give Other Drivers a Warning

When you stop quickly at night, you are more likely to be hit by the car behind you if you are traveling at night. This is because the driver may be tired and sleepy or not paying as much attention. If you can, pump your breaks a bit before you stop harder. This will make your break lights engage and hopefully make the other driver aware that you are about to stop or seriously slow down.

Dim the Inside Lights

Whether is it is a child in the back seat reading or the bright lights of your GPS, make sure to dim any inside lights while you are driving at night. Bright lights can cause glare or become a distraction for the driver. Many GPS units have a nighttime or dimming option. If yours doesn’t see if you can program it for audio only or turn the screen away from you.

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