Traveling at night behind the wheel: a few simple tips

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Summer has come and with it the season of holidays and long trips. It will not be superfluous to recall the basic rules of night driving. For those who are going on a long trip for the first time, the tips are required reading.

The recommendations below are universal in any country and on any road, even if you are traveling somewhere abroad and renting a car at a local rental shop like Especially if it’s an ultra-fast sports car for rent, which you really want to drive. Night driving requires increased attention from the driver, even if you are driving a Rolls-Royce rented in Dubai.

Technical side

It is useful to check the condition of the car before any long trip. At night, you should pay attention to the elements that provide good visibility. 

Headlights must be clean and adjusted. Untuned ones will poorly illuminate the road and very well – the eyes of oncoming drivers.

Do not skimp on spare lamps, at least for the headlight. Traffic rules require that the left headlight closest to the oncoming lane is always in good working order. Therefore, if it fails, you will have to rearrange the lamp on the right side.

Check your taillights before driving. In older cars, the dirt accumulated over the years of life in the lanterns significantly reduces the brightness of the glow. Washing them is not a useless exercise, but a contribution to safety.

Wiper blades are not expensive enough to put off replacing. Irritation from worn rubber bands in the rain during the day and at night are two huge differences. The potential danger from such savings is enormous. In the dark, even with the maximum possible view, not all obstacles can be noticed in time.

The windshield also contributes: cracks, wear and traces of sandblasting do not add transparency to it. But here it is unlikely that anyone will correct this shortcoming in an emergency order: the replacement will cost money.

How to deal with sleep?

Sleep is the main enemy of the driver on the night road. To combat it, there are many recipes.

Do not fill your stomach just before the trip. After a hearty meal, the body naturally wants to rest. When the first signs of drowsiness appear, it is most reasonable to immediately stop and take a nap. To restore strength for several hours, 20-30 minutes is enough.

If the option with a stop does not suit you for some reason, choose one of the following. Just remember that all these are half-measures with a rather weak effect, and driving a car in a sleepy state endangers you and those around you.

  • Open windows periodically to let fresh air in. The method is especially effective in winter, but in summer additional noise will help to cheer up. True, in the second case there is a risk that the heat will interrupt the freshness from the air conditioner, and then the effect will be exactly the opposite.
  • A falling asleep driver will be saved for a while by working with his jaws: gnaw chocolate, nuts, chips, and drink cool water.
  • The classic ways to combat sleep are coffee and energy drinks. For most people, they have the effect they should, but for some, they do not help or even worsen their well-being. For example, if a headache is added to drowsiness, then this obviously will not increase security.
  • Finally, don’t forget about the simplest “annoyances” – energetic music, talking with a passenger, light exercises on the side of the road, washing your face.
  • Another, old-fashioned way, suggests putting a slice of lemon under the tongue.

On a night track, the best way out may seem to be “driving behind the leader” – a car driving at the same pace as you. However, there are two dangers. If the first driver makes a mistake, then most likely you will get into an accident together. In addition, monotony will quickly put you to sleep, and alertness will decrease even more. Be careful with this.


Finally, the main rule of night driving. You see only a few tens of meters illuminated by your headlights. Anything can happen behind them, and you need to be prepared for any danger.

Vital Shpakouski Philologist with higher education, professional translator, former volunteer and teacher, entrepreneur, and salesperson with 13 years of experience. Now I’m a copywriter in Internet marketing, writing about everything that helps businesses grow and develop. In my free time, I create music and songs that no one hears and take photos and videos that no one sees.


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