The installation of illegal lights in cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles, it has become a fashion that threatens road safety on the country’s highways, and that also does not have sufficient controls by the authorities.
Despite the fact that the National Traffic Code regulates the use of lights, in accordance with international standards and codes, it is a constant to see at night cars with lights for the exclusive use of emergency vehicles, or systems installed not as an aid to driving but as luxuries.
To avoid glare or temporary ‘blindness’ caused by improper use of ‘high’ beamsand light bulbs adapted without any technical criteria that aim directly at the drivers’ eyes, here are some recommendations.
(We recommend reading: Driver’s license: what to do if you don’t pass the renewal test?)
1.- Do not hesitate to turn on the lights. Some drivers do not activate them, either due to forgetfulness, or because they think they can still see well. You may not need them, but remember that there are other users on the road. It’s about being seen, even during the day. The 24-hour use of lights is a mandatory standard in several countries and that is why vehicles have automatic ignition of them.
2.- Reduce speed. As a general rule, when driving at night, you should drive at a lower speed than during the day. At night it takes a person longer to see and react to hazards, pedestrians, and obstacles. Hence, the recommendation is to ‘do not overtake’ the headlights, that is, drive so fast that you cannot stop within the distance illuminated by them.
3.- Tired and drunk drivers. It is proven that there are more drunk and tired drivers at night, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Drunks often engage in reckless driving behavior. It is best to walk away, or as a precautionary measure, ride as close as possible to the center line or double line of the road. If you notice the driver coming straight at your car or changing their trajectory, you will have more room for an evasive maneuver to the right.
4.- Frequent breaks. To overcome the problem, you have to stop frequently, exercise a little or do muscle stretching. If sleep appears, it is better to sleep for a few minutes in a safe place.
(We recommend you read: What is being done to increase the autonomy of electric cars?)
5.- Animals on the road. On our highways the transit of domestic animals and wildlife is frequent. At night they look for the hot pavement to sleep, so you have to be aware of this situation. An impact with a large animal at high speed can be fatal. If you see one slow down, and try to get around the rear, they don’t ‘back up’. A useful trick is to search your retinas since you cannot see your body in the dark, but you can see the light reflected from your eyes from a greater distance.
6.- Eyes in movement. At night it is key to scan the road in front of you and to the sides for hazards, occasionally checking your mirrors to be alert to your surroundings. Concentrating only on the highway divider does not give enough visual information and can produce a kind of ‘hypnosis’. To avoid it, move your eyes to the sides while driving.
(You can also read: Driving license: this is the test you must take to renew it)
7.- Clean headlights, windshield and mirrors. They must remain in the best possible condition. Headlights need to be cleaned frequently. While there are windshield washer fluids out there, some aren’t as effective on splattered oil or bugs smashed into the glass. Never use the nibs to remove them. To remove the grease from the pan, the most effective thing is liquid kitchen soap.
8.- High beams. They should be used when driving in dark areas with low visibility as long as you do not have another car ahead or vehicles coming from the opposite direction. If a car is coming from the front with its high beams on, avoid looking into the beam as this will cause temporary ‘blindness’ or glare. Look to the right of your lane while keeping your peripheral vision alert for other hazards. If a car behind you has its high beams, set the rearview mirror to night mode.
9: Lenses. If you wear anti-glare lenses, be aware that oncoming car headlights sometimes reflect light in the opposite direction, creating a glare that obscures vision. The recommendation of the specialists is to use contact lenses or lenses that have an anti-reflective coating that minimizes this effect.
10.- Adjust the headlights. Check that your car’s headlights are properly aligned. Sometimes, when changing bulbs, they are placed incorrectly or the regulation screws are turned instead of the retention ones and that affects the alignment. At night it is key to examine the road in front of you and to the sides to detect hazards, check the mirrors occasionally to be alert to the surroundings. Concentrating only on the highway divider does not give enough visual information and can produce a kind of ‘hypnosis’. To avoid it, move your eyes to the sides while driving.
Who should renew your driver’s license?
More news of your interest
Do not drive if you did not renew your driver’s license: sanctions begin in Bogotá
‘You can still renew your license, but avoid driving if you haven’t already’
Driving license: how much does the renewal cost in different cities of the country?