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Mar 28, 2021
Tips for Driving or Towing an RV at Night!
Driving or towing a big RV at night only increases the risks and dangers of being on the road after sundown. This is just one of the many advantages to those who own their RV lots at a titled resort like Raptor Ridge, because they only need to make the haul once or twice each year.
Some of these tips will apply whether you’re driving long distances at night or during the day, however, nighttime driving has always been known to be more dangerous for a variety of reasons such as compromised vision and fatigue.
With that being said, night driving can also have its perks! During night trips, you’ll be on the road with fewer vehicles, which can make for a quicker and often less stressful trip.
Sometimes night-time driving simply cannot be avoided. In today’s blog we will cover some tips and tricks to help make sure you and your passengers arrive safely to your next destination!
Get plenty of sleep and avoid “drowsy driving.” Drowsy driving refers to anytime someone operates a vehicle while fatigued or sleepy. Remember, even if a driver has not consumed alcohol, studies show that the effects of driving while sleep-deprived are actually similar to driving under the influence.
While you are on the road, keep your seat upright and maintain a cabin temperature slightly cooler than usual. You don't want to be too warm and cozy. Pack healthy snacks that can help give you an energy boost when needed and remember to always stay hydrated. Recognize the following warning signs below and remember to pull off to a rest stop/truck stop if it's time for a break.
* Frequent yawning and blinking
* Trouble remembering the last few miles
* Drifting into the wrong lane or driving over the rumble strip
* Feeling of nodding off
* Having trouble keeping your head up
Clean Your Windows and Mirrors
It is important to keep your lights, mirrors, and windows clean when heading out on the highways at night. If you know that there will be extended stretches of your trip without services, you should consider always keeping an extra bottle of windshield washer fluid on hand, as well as a rag or squeegee that can be used to wipe your headlights or mirrors if they become dirty. Hazy plastic headlight covers can greatly reduce your headlight's output and should be polished or replaced prior to the start of your trip.
Dim Your Interior Lights
Dim the lights on your instrument panel and dash when driving at night. Bright lights from your dashboard and infotainment screen can actually compromise your forward vision. Dimming your vehicle’s interior lights will help to remove distracting reflections and glare on the windshield thus allowing your eyes to better focus on the darkness ahead.
Spot the Eyes
On dark rural roads, animals are everywhere. A collision between wildlife and your car can be devastating to you, your vehicle, and of course, the animal. The good news is you can often see the reflections of your headlights in an animal's eyes long before you see the actual animal. Keep a look out for pairs of tiny bright spots glowing in the distance, this is probably a sign that there is an animal ahead and you should begin safely reducing your speed.
Fog lights can be extremely useful, even when it's not foggy! These lights spread wider than your typical low beams and can help drivers see out beyond the shoulder of the road.
Do NOT Stare at Oncoming or Trailing Headlights
While driving at night, your eyes become used to the dim glow of your instrument panel and the darkness of the road ahead. Although you should always keep your eyes on the road, try your best to avoid staring directly at any oncoming headlights. The National Safety Council recommends that you shift your eyes down and to the right whenever a set of bright lights appear from the vehicles ahead. You can utilize the markings on the right edge of the road to help maintain proper lane position until the oncoming vehicle has passed.
If your vehicle doesn't have an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and you aren't hauling a trailer behind you, don't forget to use your rearview mirror's night mode to eliminate harsh lights of vehicles approaching from the back. You will still be able to see the headlights of cars behind you clearly but without the glare. Then, be sure to flip the night mode off once the lights behind you and glare is gone.
Driving long stretches at night doesn't have to be scary. If you drive carefully, stay alert and plan properly, you and your passengers will reach your destination safely, regardless of what time of day or night.