Between festive soirées and late-night family get-togethers, ‘tis the season to be driving in the dark. Your busy social calendar may come as a welcome relief from the past couple of holidays under the pandemic, but your evenings spent navigating the roads may increase your chances of a collision.
Visibility is low, you’re tired, and — to top it all off — you might be driving through ice, slush, or snow. Sometimes, it’s all three at once!
To reduce your risk of a collision, take a look at the tips below. They’ll help you steer away from danger once the sun goes down.
1. Turn on Your Lights
Having your lights on will help illuminate any hazards in front of you. It might seem obvious, but some people forget to check their lights, especially if they drive a newer vehicle.
The latest models have automatic lights, but there’s a chance they don’t engage. You also have to manually switch to high beams any time you’re on a country road.
2. Drive with Caution
You may have a hard time seeing far ahead at night, even with the appropriate headlights. Dark areas of the road can hide dangers, like a massive pothole and black ice. While these wintertime hazards aren’t guaranteed, they aren’t unheard of either. Expecting the unexpected may help you stay alert and avoid dangers.
3. Know Your Collision Plan
If you spin out on black ice or pop a tire in a pothole, you may need to get your car off the roads and into a garage. If you have a membership for CAA, its roadside assistance offers free towing. But when it comes to repairing unexpected damage to your car, that’s something you have to cover on your own.
Having a collision plan can help you handle unexpected repairs with less stress. Ideally, it starts with an emergency fund designed to cover these unpredictable expenses. But that relies on forward thinking.
If you didn’t think to set aside cash in an emergency fund, you can find a line of credit online. A lender like Fora makes it easy to research rates and terms at any time, anywhere you get Internet. You can even visit Foracredit.ca from your phone while waiting in the garage or back at home on a laptop.
While it may be an emergency, give yourself time to compare multiple line of credit lenders. This way, you’ll find something that suits your finances.
4. Reduce Your Speed
Depending on where you are, you might be one of the only cars on the road at night. With less traffic and more space, you can wind up driving a lot faster than normal.
Speeding decreases your reaction time to other drivers, road conditions, and unexpected obstructions — not to mention, there’s a chance the police could pull you over.
You can dip into your emergency fund or line of credit to help cover a speeding ticket. But it’s better for your driving record and stress levels to avoid this fine altogether. Reduce your speed to stay safe and avoid a costly speeding ticket.
5. Drive Defensively
You’ll share the roads with other drivers in busier neighbourhoods — even in the middle of the night.
Keep a wary eye on these other vehicles, as they may be driven by drowsy or impaired drivers. If another vehicle is moving erratically, give them a lot of space or consider following another route.
And there you have it — five simple tips to help you stay safe during the holidays and beyond!