- Edgar Kaweesa, a mechanic at CKK Garage in Wandegeya advises that even if you are a good driver, it is recommended to drive slowly at night. “If you are experiencing a situation where the lights from oncoming traffic are obstructing your view of the road, use the light guard just above the steering wheel and reduce your driving speed,” Kaweesa says. He also cautions against wearing sunglasses at night as they will block your view of the road.
There is no doubt that driving at night can at times be hard for some motorists. Unlike during the day, driving at night does not only requires a lot of concentration.
Amon Mugume, a telecommunications engineer, says sometimes driving at night is not optional, especially if the kind of job you do dictates so. “When I am to drive late at night, I check my head and fog lights to ensure they are in proper working condition. If the bulbs are not as bright as I need them to be, I replace them. I also use a glass detergent to make sure the lights are as clean as new,” Mugume explains.
When your lights are clean and bulbs are functional, they enable you thrust light on the road in long distances to avoid ramming into unexpected objects or humps on the road.
Drive at a manageable speed
The speed at which you drive during the day is not the same at which you drive during the night. The main difference is that during the day, you can view the road as far and long as three or more kilometres depending on how straight the road is, something that is not achievable at night. “At night, I only view the road up to where my headlights stop, however sharp my lights maybe. I drive at a speed that allows and gives me the time to control the car if something scares me on the road,” Mugume adds.
Be mindful of obstacles and errant drivers
Obstacles on the road may not only be in form of objects such as animals but they may as well be other road users who may flash full lights at you. By so doing, they block or kill your sight of the road where you are heading. Controlling your car in such a situation is easier when you are driving at a slow speed so you avoid veering of the road.
Other categories of motorists you need to beware of are those who overtake and flash lights at you, thereby killing your sight through the driving mirror. One of the ways you can keep safe from such errant drivers is to give them space and allow them overtake, rather than compete with them. There are also motorists who apply brakes instantly, where you could end up crushing into them. Here, Mugume advises that you have to follow other motorists by creating a reasonable distance of approximately 15 metres between your car and the one you are following.
Create a driving gap
Andrew Kayiwa, a motorist, says creating a driving gap between your car and the one you are following helps you to not only view the road well but to read road markings and edges well. Road edges, he opines, help you stay in the right lane without either driving on the shoulders of the road or crossing into the lane of oncoming traffic to prevent head-on collisions.
“Creating a driving gap equally prevents you from driving into potholes and hitting speed bumps. It also helps you negotiate corners and read road signs well,” he cautions.
In the event that you are on the road at night and it starts raining, your windscreen wipers especially the attached rubber edges serve the primary role of clearing your windscreen to enable you proceed with the journey. Wipers, Kayiwa advises should always be in the finest condition, just like the engine, to keep you moving.
Have a clean and clear windscreen
Diana Tuhairwe, a constant traveller, advises that if you must drive at night, make sure your windscreen is clean.
“Before I start the journey, I wash my windscreen and the rear screen with water and a detergent to remove any dirt. When I arrive at a fuel station that has security, I also wash the windscreen again so that I view the road without any obstructions,” Tuhairwe says.
Experts also advise that if you are to take your car on a long journey, you may also consider taking breaks to rest after every two hours in a safe place, preferably a trading centre or fuel station. It is also advisable to have ample rest during the day before you set off later in the night. Also, replace your windscreen if it has cracks.
Peter Kiura, an optician, says before you drive, visit an optician and have a proper eyesight check or diagnosis to determine if you can drive with or without glasses. “The optician will guide and recommend if you need unique glasses to help you manoeuvre on the road at night. If necessary, they will choose the best glasses for you,” Kiura explains.
Edgar Kaweesa, a mechanic at CKK Garage in Wandegeya advises that even if you are a good driver, it is recommended to drive slowly at night. “If you are experiencing a situation where the lights from oncoming traffic are obstructing your view of the road, use the light guard just above the steering wheel and reduce your driving speed,” Kaweesa says. He also cautions against wearing sunglasses at night as they will block your view of the road.