Facebook Page

Click here now.

YouTube Channel

Click here now.

Send us a Mail

Click here now.

Driving at night. Photo by Eliel Frances Estruite, Pexels.

Keeping safe after dark

Your guide to safe driving once the sun goes down.

Did you know that more fatal accidents occur between 4 pm and 10 pm than at any other time? This is largely because of low light conditions, which affect our peripheral vision, perception of colour, and depth perception.

In South Africa, drivers face the added complication of loadshedding, which means that streetlights are often unlit and our roads remain in darkness. This makes it even more important to drive carefully once the sun goes down. 

That said, after-dark safety actually begins long before the driver gets behind the wheel, with a regular eye check to ensure that your night vision is passable. If it’s not, it’s worth investing in anti-glare glasses. 

Apart from checking your vision, you also need to conduct a safety check on the car to ensure that headlights are working and set correctly so that they don’t blind other drivers or affect your ability to see the road.

The tail lights and indicator lights must also be in working order, and the windscreen, rear window, and side mirrors should be cleaned – important because dirty windows are more prone to steaming up and reflecting glare from other cars.

Now, more than ever, it is critical to maintain a safe following distance, because your car’s lights can limit the visibility of other drivers. This means you will have to reduce your speed. It’s a good idea to do this when the light is changing, anyway, because the human eye takes 30 minutes to adapt to darkness. Remember to dim your dashboard lights, especially if the streetlights are very bright, and don’t switch on any other lights in the car.

If you are towing another car, make sure your brake lights and indicators are properly connected. Above all, if you’re tired, avoid driving – exhaustion can leave both your focus and reaction time severely reduced.