How To Drive At Night Like A Boss
Winter isn’t just long and cold in Michigan… it’s also often shrouded in dark and dreary skies. In fact, as the days shorten in West Michigan, many find themselves commuting in the dark both to and from work. Simply knowing it’s going to happen every year doesn’t make it any less frustrating or any easier to drive in. But these tips on how to drive at night like a boss just might!
Get A Better Bulb
Advancements in headlight technology have allowed people today to have more options for illuminating dark roads than they’ve ever had before, including halogen, LED and HID (high-intensity discharge). Knowing which bulb you prefer means diving deeper into what benefits they provide.
Halogen is a more common bulb and is found in most cars today. The main benefits of halogen bulbs include low replacement costs and longevity, while the drawbacks are they emit a yellow light which is the weakest of all three options. On the flip side, LED headlights that have the most recent advancement in headlight technology and are found in many newer vehicles. They provide a stronger amount of illumination than halogen and are able to be formed into nearly any shape due to their small size. The downside for LED bulbs is that they could possibly compromise other electronics from performing correctly if they were to fail. HID lights are another option outside of halogen and LED headlights, offering a brighter light than halogen with less heat and do not risk the possibility of affecting other vital electronics in the vehicle. HID lights have been found to possibly be overpowering and blinding to other motorists even in low beam. though Deciding which of the headlights works best for you boils down to your budget, your needs and your preferences. Regardless of which headlight you choose, utilizing both low and high beams is recommended.
Clean It Up
If you decide not to swap out your current bulbs for newer technology or you’ve had your vehicle for a while, cleaning up your current headlights is always good advice for seeing further at night. Over the years, headlights can become dim and start to form a haze around them. Remove the glaze that hinders the light from shining brightly by giving those headlights a good scrubbing. Using a damp cloth and toothpaste, firmly begin rubbing in small circles until the film is removed. Once your headlights are clean, it’s time to give the same attention to your windows which may be hindered with dirt and dust that’s built up over time and created a haze you might not even have noticed is there. Give them a good wipe down to ensure that you’re seeing everything you should be seeing.
Reduce Light Inside the Vehicle
The ability to see further down the road is largely one of the biggest problems drivers face while driving at night. Utilizing high beams when possible will help aid in the issue but if there is light pouring into the vehicle, you’re still going to have problems. While eliminating all of the light streaming inside your vehicle might not be entirely under your control, there are things you can do to help to reduce it. Bright lights from your dashboard can interfere with your night vision and cause unnecessary glares. Adjust the brightness of your dashboard with your vehicle’s dimmer switch to help avoid these issues and avoid using interior lights while you’re driving. Next, adjust your side mirrors to point slightly down and flip your rearview mirror up in older model vehicles or flip the small switch or lever on the bottom of your rearview mirror on newer models to mitigate the amount of light that reflects into your eyes from the vehicles behind you.
Now that we’ve done our best to extend the light of our headlights further down the road and helped preserve your night vision, it’s time to do what you should already be doing in daylight… scanning ahead for possible dangers. As far as you are able to see, you should continue practicing getting a bigger picture of what’s ahead by rotating your view between what’s in front of your vehicle, to the sides and then what’s behind. This will help give you more time to react to anything unexpected that may be in your path.
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