If you’re going on a road trip, you cannot avoid cities on the way. City driving means horrendous traffic! The alternative is to drive long distances at night. You can avoid traffic, but you run the risk of driving while sleepy, or even falling asleep! This article explores the benefits and risks of driving long distances at night.
Benefits of Driving at Night
Driving at night is enjoyable and can even be relaxing at times. Short night rides are great way to relieve stress and can give great pleasure to your mind. It is when nature itself seems be at peace with itself. You get to see the sunset and then drive in the darkness.
While everyone else is home or hurrying to go home, you are still driving towards your destination. This means that you get to avoid rush hour traffic. Because there are fewer cars in the highway, your speed is even and you avoid the stop and go motion when other cars weave in and out of your lane. That leads to better fuel efficiency.
If you pass by a place with a lake, the sea, or through forests, you would know the beauty and awe that only nature can inspire. Driving becomes relatively easy with traffic to worry about. The hot temperatures of daytime would not trouble you and you may even feel the cool breeze as you ride along with your windows down. Even driving a bit fast would not pose much of a risk. However any enjoyment over a certain limit is always dangerous and might cost you your life.
Risks of Driving at Night
Not everything is perfect and peaceful at night, though. There are certain risks you should be aware of.
The first reason is obvious. Yes, the visibility at night is a big issue. When driving at night, you can only see clearly the area illuminated by your headlights. If your eyesight is poor, you may not be able to spot bumps and hazards on the road. If you are traveling through the mountains, the danger is compounded even more.
At night, you may also be tempted to drive at high speeds. Any sudden obstacle in your way could lead to great damages. Another incoming vehicle is such an obstacle which can be more dangerous than other stationary obstacles.
If you are tired and sleepy, you may encounter an accident. A friend of mine once crashed into a wall because he totally slept while driving! Falling asleep for even just 3 seconds could cost your limb or your life! So if you are sleepy, park somewhere, grab a coffee, or sleep for a few minutes. Losing some time is better than losing your life.
Safety Tips for Long Distance Driving at Night
If you are in a hurry to get to once place and you have hundreds or thousands of miles to cover, heed the following tips to keep you safe while you drive long distances at night.
- Bring a co-driver. Share driving responsibilities with a friend, a partner, or family. While one is driving, the other should be sleeping. Support each other so you could safely arrive.
- Drink coffee or Red Bull. But don’t overdose! Yes, caffeine can help. But be aware of your body’s limits. If you overdose on Red Bull, long distance driving might become the least of your worries. Some teenagers and adults have suffered heart failure because of too much caffeine in their body.
- Make sure you have a bright headlight. Illuminate the road so you don’t have to squint.
- Plan for rest stops along the way. Even great drivers need rest for their eyes and their minds. So take a rest in an inn, or a rest area. Just be safe.
Driving at night can be fun and enjoyable, and you get to cover more ground if you want to arrive earlier. But always remember to be safe and don’t endanger your life.