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Old 19th January 2013, 20:46   #46
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

GTO - As always very well summarized.

I have been driving in night little more than I would like to in the last 1-2 years for various reasons. Have made a habit of not driving past 2200 hours.

I used to find a good driver & tailgate him. Last time, I found how unsafe it was. I was tailgating a SUV. Not sure if he was irritated by it or what, he was over taking a slow vehicle & took a more time than he used to & I got near so I can over take along with him. Suddenly he cuts to other side & in my plan to overtake other vehicle I pressed gas only to realize there was another vehicle in front and had to hit breaks hard.

Not sure if this was intentional, I stoppped tailgating him & drove on my own! I have gotten better @ night driving but nothing like early morning drives.
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Old 19th January 2013, 22:29   #47
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

Fantastic thread.

I personally like night driving, its best enjoyed with a group of friends.

With family in tow, night driving should be best avoided completely.
In case you still have to do it, do it only on highways familiar to you.

In case of a breakdown, vehicle can be locked and you can hop on to state transport buses. ( Safer option that hitch-hiking in any other car ).

I always like the way reflectors work, hence would suggest pasting a strip or two to the rear of your vehicle for such a drive.

Carry good torches, lights which you can use in case of a breakdown.

Keep newspapers handy since they clean your screen very effectively.
Night drive + rains = Ultimate test, pull over to a safe hotel/dhaba in case of a heavy downpour and do not challenge yourself.

We should also compile a list of roads which are dacoit prone.

As far as MH goes, below are roads which i have heard are very risky at night

Ghoti-Sinnar ( while travelling to shirdi ).
Varandha Ghat
Tamhini ghat.
Sinnar - Sangamner
Pune - Baramati ( Ashishpallod am i right ? )
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Old 19th January 2013, 23:12   #48
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

Wonderful article by GTO. Almost covers everything. Night driving can be avoided as much as possible, but I feel it is very comfortable.

Always better to drive 10-20 kms less in the night than your normal driving speed.

I follow this strictly on two lane highways.

Always switch to low beam if there is vehicle in the opposite direction (even if it is two wheeler) and to high beam immediately after it passes you. Normally one tends to accelerate after the opposite vehicle crosses you so it is better to shift to high beam to have a clear view of the road ahead.

It is always better to switch off your headlights for 1 or 2 sec if you notice a pedestrian or cyclist on your right side so that the opposite driver can see on his left. Positioning of headlight switches in cars like Ford, Volkswagon is excellent and very convenient.

This will caution the opposite drivers to see their left side clearly.

Somehow I got this habit because of night walkers travelling to the holy town of Palani during the month of January and March as pilgrimage through my native town. Lot of accidents have happened so far in these areas due to large crowd walking along the road mostly during the night.

Police have come up with suggestions to wear reflecting stickers, torch lights during the walk, but still accidents do happen.
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Old 20th January 2013, 04:27   #49
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

Having done a substantial part of my journeys in the night, i can add the following:

I have slightly lifted the left side headlight beam so that i can have a clear view of the 2 wheelers/ people walking on the edge.

10 PM to 4 AM is the best time to maintain higher speeds. Be careful as it nears 4 AM. This is the time when truck drivers begin to feel sleepy.

Coffee is best avoided if the trip is for the overnight. It gives the high for a couple of hours, but the lows that follow is enervating. I find black tea better!
Also, try to have a chat with the chaiwala about the road conditions en-route.

If there are passengers in the car, drop the treble in the music.

As RGK said, in a 2 lane, definitely dip the beam, without waiting for his flicker/dipping. A response can assure you that the driver in the oncoming vehicle is not sleepy!

Last edited by ramzsys : 20th January 2013 at 04:29.
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Old 20th January 2013, 11:21   #50
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Use the day / night feature of your internal rear view mirror if the headlamps behind (from the following car) are blinding you. I prefer to switch them back to day mode after the situation has improved, as day mode provides a better view of what's happening behind.
And what if your Rs. 20L+ SUV doesn't have one? Shame on Mitsubishi Pajero SFX for not being equipped with.

To counter it, I changed lanes (after a safe distance) so that the glare isn't reflected directly in the IRVM. I could have altered the mirror's positioning, but that wouldn't be very safe. Yes, ORVM's are there & at night you won't miss, but still...

I believe Alto & perhaps Wagon R (old), Estilo aren't equipped with this feature.

Tata Nano has it
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Old 20th January 2013, 20:44   #51
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

I have driven down the Chitoor road to do Bangalore->Chennai a couple of times out of necessity at night time. After a 100 KMs from Bangalore the road becomes a 2-lane divider-less highway in bad-shape. To add to the woes, a number of the trucks and buses plying on the road have upwards of 6 head-lights and all them focused just so to intimidate and blind LMVs, two-wheelers coming on the opposite lane!!
At those times when i had to cross one of these monstrosities i normally move towards the left as much as i can to avoid the glare, focus only on the road before me keeping him only in peripheral vision, slow down as much as i can (to a crawl if there is no vehicle tailgating me) and pickup speed only after a few seconds of crossing to give enough time for my eyes to adjust back.
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Old 21st January 2013, 11:43   #52
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
And what if your Rs. 20L+ SUV doesn't have one? Shame on Mitsubishi Pajero SFX for not being equipped with.

To counter it, I changed lanes (after a safe distance) so that the glare isn't reflected directly in the IRVM. I could have altered the mirror's positioning, but that wouldn't be very safe. Yes, ORVM's are there & at night you won't miss, but still...
Are you talking about auto-dimming? Because it's hard for me to imagine that a 20lac vehicle would not come with a basic mechanical lever to flip the mirror up a few cm. That's what "Day/Night" mirrors do, anyway.
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Old 21st January 2013, 12:40   #53
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

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Are you talking about auto-dimming? Because it's hard for me to imagine that a 20lac vehicle would not come with a basic mechanical lever to flip the mirror up a few cm. That's what "Day/Night" mirrors do, anyway.
No, it doesn't have. I queried GTO as well over this. There is no toggle switch & it doesn't autodim, so...

And has an inbuilt screen displaying what is behind once you reverse. I don't need that Mitsu.
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Old 21st January 2013, 18:01   #54
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

Wonderful thread & awesome tips GTO!!!
I would to add one more effective way to reduce the glare of oncoming vehicles, Keep your cabin light switched on (only people who find it very strenuous at night) It helps cut the glare by 20-30%.
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Old 22nd January 2013, 17:55   #55
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

Adding 2 cents from my side.

While driving in night on highways or when I suspect I'd take on lot of high beams, I usually wear a cap - baseball type and adjust the flap(peak) a little bit down on right side than on left side. That takes care of high beam most of the times. And you still get to see whats on left side.

Used to do this in Pune while riding bike back in 90s n found it works while driving car too so now a cap always there in my glove box.
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Old 22nd January 2013, 22:52   #56
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

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Originally Posted by Shanksta View Post
I would to add one more effective way to reduce the glare of oncoming vehicles, Keep your cabin light switched on (only people who find it very strenuous at night) It helps cut the glare by 20-30%.
This is not right. Cabin light tends to reflect on the windscreen and you cant see the road properly. Also, it may cut the glare but what is the point if it hampers visibility?

Last edited by Guna : 22nd January 2013 at 22:54.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 00:34   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guna
This is not right. Cabin light tends to reflect on the windscreen and you cant see the road properly. Also, it may cut the glare but what is the point if it hampers visibility?
No cabin light does not reflect on the windscreen. Let me explain how this actually works , imagine you have a extremely powerful torch now in a dark room if you look into the beam directly you tend to get blinded, but suppose the lights in the room are switched on then if you look into the beam directly you will 100% notice the difference in the level you get blinded. This is also the reason fir the cabin light being on in overnight buses, trust me it seriously works!!
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Old 23rd January 2013, 00:44   #58
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

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Originally Posted by Shanksta View Post
No cabin light does not reflect on the windscreen. ===This is also the reason fir the cabin light being on in overnight buses, trust me it seriously works!!
I would humbly disagree. Try sitting in a bright room and try looking out into a decently lit road, you will see things which are brightly lit but with very very less details. Dark areas very little. Now switch off the lights and take a look, you would see many more details and that too over a larger area.

Now coming to the bus, if you observe the new age bus guys dont switch the lights ON. Some of the volvos even have a pull down type sun visor for winshield (not talking about the partition for the passengers). Old timers leave light ON so that they assume they will not doze off with lights ON, thats all to it. Same logic of having helper in the cabin, sit and chat to avoid fatigue and sleep.

Yes you might not feel the intensity of the headlights, guess due to the enlarged pupil setting of the eyes. But at the same time, lot of details are lost on the darker side.

Last edited by Jaggu : 23rd January 2013 at 00:48.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 00:51   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu

I would humbly disagree. Try sitting in a bright room and try looking out into a decently lit road, you will see things which are brightly lit but with very very less details. Dark areas very little. Now switch off the lights and take a look, you would see many more details and that too over a larger area.

Now coming to the bus, if you observe the new age bus guys dont switch the lights ON. Some of the volvos even have a pull down type sun visor for winshield (not talking about the partition for the passengers). Old timers leave light ON so that they dont doze off, thats all to it.

Yes you might not feel the intensity of the headlights, guess due to the enlarged pupil setting of the eyes. But same time lot of details are lost on the darker side.
Guess maybe I was wrong but I have used this method when I got blinded by oncoming vehicles just once or twice, since I wear spectacles, it was quite relaxing.

So maybe let me put my tip this way if you are drowsy or if your eyes are strained by blinding lights of oncoming vehicles then keep your cabin light switched on for 5-10 mins to refresh your eyes.

What say Jaggu??:-)
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Old 23rd January 2013, 01:36   #60
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe NIGHT Driving

I would still suggest stopping over and taking a break, have a sip of tea, wash face, get refreshed and drive on. Cabin light method is not the best idea, especially if its a dim lit road with pedestrians, animals or even for that matter with turns. I have tried it, hence. But yes i do not wear spectacles, so dont know if it helps in that case. I doubt it, since the retina functions the same way. Low light photography also confirms this.

This got me thinking, maybe the heavy vehicle drivers leave the light on so that on coming traffic notices the larger cabin and maintains cautions?? Another logic
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