IF YOU’RE about to go home from an evening function you can just hop in the car and leave, right? Not quite. Night driving in South Africa has many challenges that require more effort to stay safe.
MasterDrive’s MD, Eugene Herbert, says every driver should develop a strategy for safe and competent night-driving. “It should include a plan to ensure your physical safety, ensure there are no impairments to your vision, and to avoid dangerous drivers.”
You can be hijacked anywhere at any time but statistics reveal that dawn, dusk and after dark carry the greates risk. “Hijackings peak between four and eight a.m. and again from four to eight p.m. Drivers should take extra care when approaching traffic lights – modify your speed to get to the junction on green.
HOW’S YOUR NIGHT VISION?
Be award of the surroundings when reaching home.
Had you night vision checked recently. The impairment can creep up unnoticed – until it is too late…
”Even with 20/20 natural vision,” Herbert warns, ”certain techniques can better equip you for night driving. Glare from lights on high beam will temporarily blind anybody – yet flashing back merely doubles the danger.
”Night is also when you’re most likely to encounter a drunk or fatigued driver, or those willing to take more risks.’
“Pay careful attention to your surroundings on the road. Never cross an intersection, even if it is your right-of-way, until you are 100% sure crossing or turning cars have stopped. Put some space between your vehicle and an erratic driver.”
WHY NOT TAKE A NIGHT-DRIVING COURSE?
Driving at night is more complex than during the day. “All the daytime rules apply but the reduced visibility requires even more awareness and preparedness. MasterDrive has developed a night-driving MasterClass that can help drivers meet its challenges.
”Be proactive rather than reactive.”