Have you found it difficult to see when driving in heavy rainfall or at night? If so, then you are not alone. The good news is there are ways that you can increase your ability to see the road, pedestrians, and other drivers better when visibility is limited, such as when there is heavy rain, on dark nights or in the morning fog. This review offers 10 effective ways to improve your visibility and overall safety while driving in less ideal conditions.
10 Ways to help increase your visibility when driving in the rain or at night
You can increase your visibility when driving in the rain (or at night) by ensuring your headlights are updated, clean, and not oxidized, driving as safely as you possibly can, applying a hydrophobic water repellent, and ensuring you do not have any eye conditions that may restrict you, such as poor night vision.
Make sure you have reliable headlights
Headlights are your best friend when visibility is limited due to rain, dark skies, or at night. When in doubt, turn your headlights on while there is rain to increase your visibility. This also allows other drivers to see your car better, reducing the risk of someone else hitting your car. Also, understand that there are likely other drivers that are not using their headlights during the day even while it is raining, so keep a close eye out for vehicles that are hard to see. Keep a close eye out for pedestrians as well.
Stay a safe distance behind cars
Braking is more challenging at night. Also, the risk of drivers in front of you needing to use their brakes suddenly is increased when it is raining. Be sure to stay at least five car lengths behind vehicles that are in front of you to give yourself time to break. If you see any vehicles in front of you begin to break (watch the brake lights), then you should begin to slowly break as well.
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Drive slower than you normally would
The slower you drive the more reaction time you will have, and it may reduce the risk of sliding on the road due to the wet conditions. However, driving too slow could become dangerous as well, so be sure to use your hazard lights and stay in the right lane if you are driving significantly slower than the flow of traffic. If necessary, you can simply pull over until the rain slows down or stops.
Brake early and slowly
Brakes are not a defense if you begin to hydroplane, which occurs when your car loses grip of the road. Typically due to the wet road conditions. On the other hand, braking early and often will provide yourself with an ample amount of time to react if something unexpected were to occur.
Pull off to the side of the road if you feel uncertain
If you feel uncomfortable driving when the road conditions are wet and your visibility is limited due to rain, fog, etc., then you should pull over until the conditions improve. However, pulling over in the wrong area can make the situation even more dangerous. Be sure to pull all of the way off of the road, preferably in a parking lot. If you are on the side of a highway or roadside, then leave your lights on. Next turn your hazard lights on as well to let other drivers know that you are there.
Keep your headlights clean
Your headlights should provide you with optimal visibility even while it is raining. If your headlights are dirty or oxidated, then it can obstruct your vision and make driving in the rain or at night far more challenging. Be sure to wash your headlights often to prevent the accumulation of dirt and grime that can lead to early oxidation.
Upgrade your headlights for increased visibility
Once your headlights become damaged or severely oxidized, then cleaning them is not enough to enhance your visibility while driving. In this case, you may need to replace your headlights. A quality replacement headlights set will offer optimal safety when driving in the rain.
Dim your dashboard’s infotainment system
The more light you have shining toward you the harder it is going to see ahead of you. One effective way to increase your visibility while driving in the rain is to dim your dashboard’s infotainment system. You should also keep any other lights in your car to a low level or off if possible. This reminder will ensure you are able to see the road with clarity when your visibility may be limited.
Clean your windshield and windshield wipers
A stained or damaged windshield can make driving at night a challenge. So, be sure to keep them as clean as possible at all times. One of the most common reasons for limited visibility when driving in the rain is windshield wipers that are damaged, worn-down, or dirty. If your windshield wipers are relatively new and are in good condition, then you can simply enhance their performance by cleaning them to remove dirt and grime. However, if they are more than a year old or damaged, then you should have them replaced.
Have your vision checked for poor night vision
If you have completed all of the tips listed above but are still struggling to see when it is raining or at night, then you may benefit from a professional eye exam. Many people have poor night vision, which makes it harder to see in dark conditions. By simply addressing this concern with contacts or glasses, you can significantly improve your visibility while driving at night, on foggy mornings, and at night.
Final thoughts on how to increase your visibility when driving
You should be able to improve your visibility when driving at night, in fog, or while it is raining by ensuring your headlights, taillights, and windshield wipers work properly, in addition to following the safe driving tips listed above.