For professional truck drivers, driving at night is an inevitable part of the job. And, no matter how experienced you are, you should never underestimate the dangers that come with it.
It’s important to keep safety top of mind when behind the wheel in these situations, as it can make the difference between making it home in one piece and ending up in the emergency room. Now, before you get the necessary trucking permit for your journey, here are five tips to remember when driving at night.
1. Get enough rest before hitting the road.
A huge mistake that some drivers make and has led to traffic accidents is drowsy driving. So, make sure you have rested well before taking on the road.
Also, take a break when you feel that you already need it. Better safe than sorry—even if it costs you extra fuel or time!
2. Make sure that your windshield is clean.
When you get a trucking permit, the most common safety measures that come up are using banners, reflectors, and lights to make your vehicle more visible.
But what about actually being able to see the road clearly? Rainy or humid weather can leave smudges on your windshield that can obstruct your vision. So, before you depart for your journey, wipe it down with a glass cleaner for maximum visibility.
3. Be aware of impaired vision that truck drivers would experience while driving at night.
No matter how good your vision is, there are factors that cause reduced visibility while driving at night. The glare of headlights from oncoming traffic can cause temporary blindness. When this happens, make sure to slow down and practice defensive driving techniques until your vision clears up.
Also, remember that it takes more time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness when entering a tunnel since there are fewer light sources to help the process. Use caution when transitioning between areas with more and less lighting so you can maintain control of your truck.
4. Make sure all lights are functioning correctly before starting your journey.
For truck drivers, having fully functional lights and other illumination devices on their vehicles is essential for being spotted by other drivers in the dark. So, always check that your headlights, taillights, turning signals, and brake lights are working in order before setting off.
And again, when getting a trucking permit, you would even be required to use reflectors for added visibility.
5. Pay attention to road signs and always follow the speed limits.
Road signs and speed limits are there for a reason, and that’s for your safety. When driving at night, it can be easy to miss important signs if you are speeding or not paying attention to the details.
Always keep an eye out for signs that could indicate a sharp curve ahead or an upcoming intersection. And remember, always drive within the speed limit. If anything, take it slower to stay on the safe side.