Sell Your Damaged Car Shines The Light On Driving At Night

Those who have embarked on a night-time road trip get to experience a different side of our beautiful country. The moonlit open expanses of the Karoo, the Free State farmlands illuminated by starlight, the black brooding mystery of the ocean and the quiet ebony ribbons of our national roads are all worth writing home about.

But the nature of our business - buying accident-damaged cars - makes us privy to the backstories of the cars that land up on our doorstep and how many of them are the result of accidents that have occurred after dark.

According to a study by the University of the North West, decreased visibility and fatigue - due to twilight and night-time driving - rank high as causes of car accidents. (Obviously, crashes caused by drunk drivers are also statistically much higher after night).

As a driver, you are unable to control the actions of others, but you are able to arm yourself with the knowledge of the unique challenges of driving at night as well as heeding tips to drive responsibly so that you (and your family) arrive safely at your destination. (No one wants the logistics of sorting out an accident-damaged vehicle added to their vacation or road trip list).

Man driving at night with girl in back seat

Sharp bends, blind corners, roadworks, poor road surfaces, insufficient road lighting and inadequate road markings are just some of the major contributors to night-time driving struggles and potential accidents.

At ‘Sell your damaged car,’ we have complied our 5 top tips for safe night-time driving:

#1 Check your car’s lights

Load shedding in towns and cities, and no street lights on our open roads, are real reasons for you to check all your vehicle (and trailer) lights to make sure your car is clearly visible to other drivers on the road at night, and that the road signs and the road ahead are visible. Damaged lights, brake lights not working or dirty headlights are ‘an accident waiting to happen.’ This simple check could be the difference between getting to your destination safely or having to deal with the trauma of a wrecked or accident-damaged car.

(We realise we are probably preaching to the choir, but it is also a no-brainer to do an entire vehicle maintenance check as breaking down in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, is never an ideal scenario).

Car parked at the side of the road at night with headlights on

Tip: do not forget the effectiveness of your car’s high beams/bright lights at night to highlight more of the road ahead. (Just remember to dim them for oncoming traffic or if there is a car ahead of you).

#2 Check your eyes

Night vision weakness is a reality and affects distance perception as soon as the sun sets. Various physiological factors can impair your night vision: nearsightedness, certain medications, cataracts or retinitis pigmentosa (a genetic condition that impairs how well you detect light). If you struggle with any of these conditions, either have them ‘seen to’ with the correct glasses or surgery, or simply avoid driving at night.

#3 Check your fatigue signals

A Red Bull (or similar energy drink) may be a short-term ‘superpower’ and ‘give you wings,’ but fatigue on the road will creep up on you unawares. Yawning, heavy eyes, and slowly finding yourself crossing lanes are all early warning sides that should be immediately heeded. Our brains are wired to produce more sleep-inducing melatonin after dark, so make sure you are well-rested before a night-time road trip and ideally have a second driver along for the ride. (It is always recommended to take a quick break every 2 hours on any road trip).

Person sitting in front of silver sedan at night
#4 Check your speed

Exceeding the speed limit is a definite no-no, but the quiet open road at night is likely to be a temptation for you to ‘put foot.’ As the billboards warn, ‘SPEED KILLS,’ and after dark, your field of view is diminished and your distance perception can be affected. So, a responsible travelling speed and following distance are vital to reaction times and safe night-time driving.

#5 Check your driving approach

You may have done the advanced driving course and believe you are ready to handle any scenario the open road may throw at you, but a defensive driving approach at night is plain common sense.

This would include:

  • Checking blind spots when changing lanes.
  • Being aware of your surroundings; animals, pedestrians, cyclists or road works could suddenly appear as if out of nowhere.
  • Identifying impaired drivers by noting their car’s speed, position in the lane, erratic driving practices and slow reaction times.
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As any South African driver is well aware, accidents happen. And even though you may do everything in your power to avoid your car being involved in a crash, there are no guarantees that you can avoid accidents. We are here for you.

At Sell your damaged car, we can guarantee the following should you be faced with having to sell an accident-damaged or non-running car:

  • We will tow your car, free of charge
  • We will offer you a competitive cash price - no matter what the damage
  • We will handle all the power work

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