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.
That was a wrong thing to do. Never follow the vehicle in front of you in a overtaking maneuver.Always do the overtaking independently!
The following BHPian Thanks sagarpadaki for this useful post:
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!!
I dont think the analogy is right as context i different.
While driving, you should be able to read the road well in addition to cope with the glare.
When you are driving with the cabin light off, all the visual input reaching your eye is coming form the road (road view + glare from oncoming vehicle). Now you switch on the cabin light and the visual input reaching your eye consists of the light insight the cabin (lit dashboard, reflection from windscreen etc) + the road view + the glare. Since the eye (aperture) adjusts itself to let only so much light, effective light coming from the road is reduced and your view of the road is hampered.
Keeping the cabin light is also not safe in another sense as it exposes the occupants to outsiders.
The following BHPian Thanks Guna for this useful post:
My personal experience with night driving is as follows:
1. Crisp feel to the engine. Really like the feeling.
2. Higher average speed due to less traffic.
1. Over the years, I am tired of being polite to oncoming ' high beamers'. I have tried focusing on the road and on the markers but sooner or later someone gets you as you let your guard down for a low beamer. They switch on the high beams just as you are about to pass them !
The truckies don't really care, they sit high up.
As for buses, I still cannot fathom why they require 4 or 6 headlights !
2. One has to build in a large factor of safety while overtaking as many a times it happens that you have to back off on the move because you hit a rough patch on the overtaking lane and can't keep your momentum.
In summary, I drive at night only on expressways or likewise where you don't have to overtake or only if it is unavoidable due to paucity of time.
Maybe one day we will have sensors on all cars that automatically dip the headlights as soon as they sense incoming lights (No manual override possible).
One point I would like to mention is that one should be extra careful while determining how far is the oncoming vehicle when overtaking on two-lane (without divider) road. I had a nasty surprise on Pune-Nasik highway at night once. I was driving behind a car. I relied on the distance between the two headlamps of the oncoming vehicle and assumed that the vehicle is quite far ahead and I could safely overtake. Only when I had just started to overtake, I realized that the vehicle was a tractor (whose headlights are located quite close to each other) and it was quite near for me to safely overtake. I quickly dropped the plan to overtake. Thank God for the timely notice.
Super article boss! Adding a few more dis-advantages:
1. You miss the scenery around you, while driving in the night. Realized this after driving during the day on NH4.
2. Also, during rain, the slush that splashes on the windscreen from those 18+ wheelers, blinds the view completely. Experienced this on the way to Surat.
3. Need to flash lights more often than driving in the day time, especially if its a 2-lane highway.
However, based on my experience for about 75K kms on my Scorp, 90% of them have been during the night, considering the various reasons you have mentioned. Either you go with friends or family, its only for first 1 or max 2 hours, every one is full of energy. Once, they fall asleep, its a bliss to drive all by yourself.
The following BHPian Thanks aviorp for this useful post:
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
the logic works guess so, also their headlamps don't work most of the times.
I dont think the analogy is right as context i different.
While driving, you should be able to read the road well in addition to cope with the glare. I agree cause even on the two occasions i used this technique i noticed that the details outside reduces as told by jaggu(remembered cause he mentioned it)
When you are driving with the cabin light off, all the visual input reaching your eye is coming form the road (road view + glare from oncoming vehicle). Now you switch on the cabin light and the visual input reaching your eye consists of the light insight the cabin (lit dashboard, reflection from windscreen etc) + the road view + the glare. Since the eye (aperture) adjusts itself to let only so much light, effective light coming from the road is reduced and your view of the road is hampered. Another logic which is kinda true but the reason why i mentioned it is as you told since the aperture receives light from the cabin also the intensity of glare reduces.
Keeping the cabin light is also not safe in another sense as it exposes the occupants to outsiders. That is also there.
Answers in BOLD.
but seriously i found it comforting that's why i mentioned it. If it a wrong technique, my sincere apologies
I always prefer driving at night. Maybe years of working in night shift has acclimatised me and I don't feel sleepy at night anymore.
Even with the perceived higher risks, the positive I find is that we do not have to negotiate as many two wheelers, new drivers practicing their skills on highways.
Having said that, I avoid driving at night if traveling with family.
There was this one instance while returning to Bangalore from Coorg, that we saw a Noorie style ghost lady on the road, complete with candle and all. I thought my eyes played a trick on me but no, even my co-passenger saw the same.
Only after discussing this with a friend the next day I came to know that its a ploy to get the inquisitive travelers to stop. Apparently a lot of people who feel brave stop to investigate get mugged by Noorie's gang who are waiting for them.
The following 2 BHPians Thank Maverift for this useful post:
One interesting but disturbing phenomena I'm observing specifically in cars like the XUV500, Fortuner, Innova Vx, Corolla, City, Brio, Sunny, Scala, Fluidic Verna and much more is that these drivers "forget" to turn on their park lamps, leave alone the head lamps. I've seen these cars drive with no burning tail lamps and headlamps and then I discovered as to why this happens - all these cars come with a backlit instrument cluster that's always turned on for better visibility and aesthetics.
Since the instrument cluster glows all the time, the drivers basically forget to turn on their lights! I tried flashing my lights on a couple of them, but they hardly realised why I flashed! Be wary of such cars as you won't see their tail lamps until they brake! Wish there was some safety feature (not auto headlamps) that reminded these drivers like a seatbelt warning. Some cars have a park lamp "on" green icon in the cluster, but it isn't good enough to grab one's attention.
The following BHPian Thanks swiftdiesel for this useful post:
For most of my travel it will be so planned that I start in the afternoon and end before 2-3am. I don't like to continue beyond this time unless there is some emergency. Some of things I strictly follow are,
-> Break for tea/dinner as soon as day light ends and start again only after 8-8.30pm. This is mainly to avoid messing up many of the two wheelers, tractor guys, cycle walas who are really rushing up to reach their homes.
-> During night, keep a consistent speed of 80 (+/-10) only.
-> Illegal /legal Road humps are real scary and will keep watching for those, especially while driving in KA.
-> While in two line traditional highways, switch to high beam right after the opp. vehicle's front portion crossed. This will help me to see any Lorries, or even cycles parked or moving in my left side. This habit saved me many a times.
-> I generally do not prefer to trail any other vehicle unless there is a serious visibility issues. If I understood that someone is trailing me with a good distance, I used to give him clear signals so that he also can drive peacefully. But I don't like anyone trailing me so close as this will blind me with the reflections from the side mirrors, so I will give him the way to overtake. If someone do not giving me side, this is what I also used to do..!!!
-> I used to take at least a 3-5 minutes break after each hour to drink water, stretching my legs, or bio-break.
After reading this article I feel a bit foolish to have driven fast at night during a recent trip with my friends. I covered 350 odd kms in a short period of time to couple this I drove at higher than normal speeds. My usual night drive is 80kmph and not more, this time I felt the need to push 40kms more than my normal speed. I'm lucky to have returned home safely and I will never try my luck again.
Reason for over speeding:
1. I had women traveling with me in the car.
2. Didn't want to be caught in a traffic jam at the ghat section.
3. Was anxious to reach home.
Fortunately luck aided me in my journey and I reached home safe and sound. The engine sounded happy and I got good mileage. Unlike day time the engine didn't sound harsh as before. I usually prefer some good songs to play at an audible volume. But my friends weren't so kind they decided to play antakshari and the second half of the journey was filled with chaos and arguments amongst my friends this aided me in not feeling tired. Once I reached the city I was stopped by cops at a few checkpoints. Cops are over cautious when they see an approaching vehicle and they will stop you, question your whereabouts and your destination, they will also tell you that they need to check your car. Oblige willingly and keep your valuables safe when they're checking.
Drive safe at night guys.
Signing off: verlangsamen (captain slow)
If roads are good, I for one would love to drive in the night. Most of my late night runs had been between Mumbai and Pune. The good condition of roads had swung my decision to drive during those unearthly hours.
Also, late night drives cuts down infamous Bombay traffic. Moreover, it is no small matter that many idiots (jaywalkers and vehicles on the wrong side) are also off the road during those hours.
I always prefer to drive at night,
- Lesser traffic, not much of jaywalkers.
- Average speed as well as mileage comes out to be much more then day.
- Lesser trucks post midnight.
- No need to use horn.
There are some points which I always keep in mind,
- Due to limited visibility, never do high speeds.
- In multi-lane carriageways, I always prefer to cross junctions in left lane.
- I prefer driving with a anti-glare specs, as they cut out glare.
- In single-lane carriageways, I always keep an eye on the reflection of the road, produced at left most part, this helps me a lot during crossings.
The following BHPian Thanks crazyfordriving for this useful post: