MOTORING

Tips for safe driving at night

Before getting into your car, your blood system must be free of any intoxicant

In Summary

• Before driving at night, take your car for repairs 

• You should also be sober and well-rested before and during the drive 

Passengers board a Modern Coast bus
Passengers board a Modern Coast bus
Image: FILE

One of the best news for Kenyans last month was the lifting of the 4am–10pm curfew that was imposed as part of the Covid-19 regulations. 

With the upcoming festive period, this development couldn't have come at a better time. It offers the opportunity for road trips, driving around at night without fear of running into trouble with cops for being outside at an 'ungodly' hour. 

However, hold your horses and let not the excitement get the better of you. Before pulling your car out of the driveway, ensure it is good to go to avoid any mishaps in the middle of nowhere. 

Due to reduced visibility at night, you must ensure your headlights are in good working condition. They must not be foggy, whereas the beams must not be too high or too low to deter proper visibility on the road. 

Not only the headlights but also others, such as brake lights, indicators, hazards and reverse lights, must be in tip-top condition. Your windshield also needs cleaning not just to enhance visibility but also to reduce glare, which may obscure other drivers' view. 

It is during unexpected moments, such as night driving, that you are most likely to experience a puncture. Therefore, you need a spare tyre, complete with a wheel spanner and a car jack. 

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of filling your fuel tank to the brim. You don't want to be sweating on a cold night, stranded in the dark, as echoes of howling hyenas in the vicinity send chills down your spine. 

Whereas being a speed freak seems a great idea in the daytime, it is definitely a no-no during night driving. Avoid driving at speeds of over 80kph because of poor visibility as well as the likelihood of wildlife rushing onto the road. 

For personal safety, you need company when travelling at night. Beside our roads lurk highway robbers and other criminals who lay traps for unsuspecting motorists to steal, carjack or kidnap them. 

Always inform family or close friends whenever driving at night so they can always follow up in case anything happens to you. Additionally, you need enough rest before or during your drive to avoid drowsiness during long hours on the road. 

Before getting behind the wheel, you must be sure your blood system is free of any intoxicant, which may cloud your vision and concentration while driving. 

Overall, before driving at night, you will need to take your car for a clinic to identify and resolve any mechanical hitches that may arise during the journey. 

You also need to go for a clinic to ensure you are in a good state of health to drive in the dark.