Subaru of Niagara Blog

EyeSight Technology Continues to Impress

Posted by Subaru of Niagara

Apr 16, 2015 5:00:00 PM

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We’ve talked about our Subaru EyeSight technology before, and we’re going to again right now. Australian researcher, Canstar Blue, has given Subaru an innovation excellence award for EyeSight.

This new-generation safety system is being recognized all over the world, and this is just the latest in awards and recognition for the Subaru-patented technology.

Stereo cameras mounted at the top of the windshield, capture real-time images of the road ahead. This is a great asset to the driver who, as you know, is prone to miss things on the road or cars breaking up ahead of them. These cameras help the car and driver react to these unfortunate situations and help prevent accidents and impact damage to your vehicle. Need we mention that it is also helping reduce insurance premiums?

Occupant safety has and will always be a top priority for Subaru, and since EyeSight technology was released in 2012, Subaru has taken home awards and high scores from the IIHS here in North America, and even scored a perfect 6-point rating in Front Crash Prevention (FCP) tests.

With driver distraction being one of the main causes for accidents on the road, Megan Doyle, Canstar Blue’s General Manager, said: “Subaru’s EyeSight could help prevent some of the needless collisions that occur on our roads every day. Subaru has created what is essentially an extra pair of eyes, alerting a driver to potential collisions and helping to mitigate the consequences of them. We applaud Subaru for its innovation and dedication to improving the safety of both road-users and pedestrians.”

If you want to see this technology in action for yourself, all you have to do is stop by Subaru of Niagara, and we will do the rest for you! We cant wait to see you!

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Topics: subaru, Safety, Safe Driving, Vehicle Safety, EyeSight

Keeping You Safe in the Winter Months

Posted by Subaru of Niagara

Feb 4, 2015 3:00:00 PM

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Residents of the Niagara Region are well aware of the uniquely accustomed weather known to the Region, especially for presenting a unpredictable winter season!

February has already presented us with more than 40 centimeters of powder in just over a day and a half. For those of you who were lucky enough to stay inside, it was for the better, as the Region worked diligently to clear the roads as fast as possible, however it was difficult to keep up with the snow-to-plow ratios.

 Driving conditions were not ideal in the last few days, with little to no visible lines on highways and side roads experiencing snow drifts up to 3 feet tall due to high wind conditions. However those brave enough to bear the cold in a top rated Subaru had the reassurance that they were able to make it to their destination safely. It’s more than just having winter tires on your vehicle in a Southern Ontario winter to ensure that you and your passengers are truly safe and comfortable with unexpected conditions.

 The unplanned weather conditions of the Region can can be frightening, especially when your presence is needed somewhere else. Thankfully features such as Subaru’s advanced safety features, and especially Subaru patent Symmetrical All-wheel drive,  as well as recognition from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recognize all Subaru’s in their Top Safety Picks for safety performance. These features ensure safety through ice and snow that may not be visible to the eye, when the wheels experience issues with traction.

Niagara’s unique weather conditions allow it to be the region that we call home, setting it apart from other regions within Ontario. Owning a Subaru ensures safety when weather is unpredictable and changes frequently. Stay safe, and bundle up… Spring roads are right around the corner!

Book a service appointment with us today and make sure your vehicle is in prime-shape for the rest of the winter! You never know what the weather Gods are going to throw at us again.

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Topics: Winter Driving, Safety, Safe Driving, Vehicle Safety, Vehicle Maintenance

Stay Safe This Winter!

Posted by Subaru of Niagara

Nov 18, 2014 5:00:00 PM

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The first snow has fallen here in Southern Ontario, and we want to make sure that you are safe on the roads this winter. We all know that any sort of extra work in the winter is no fun, but a little extra work in regards to your vehicle will keep you safe and comfortable on the road. There are a few myths about winter vehicle maintenance, and we are here to help you debunk some of them, and help you get your vehicle prepared for winter.

Claim: All-Season/ All-Terrain tires are just as effective in the winter as winter tires

The fact is that winter tires weren’t just created to drive sales and raise profits. They were developed because regular and even all season tires are not built to handle the winter as well as winter tires were. Regular tires are not designed to have as much traction as winter tires are designed with. Yes, this includes cars operating with AWD (All Wheel Drive) or 4WD. The big issue with driving in the winter is all about traction, and winter tires feature specially developed rubber and tread patterns that were developed and designed specifically with snow in mind. On the reverse side, cold weather makes regular tires stiffen out and actually lose traction, while winter tires are built to remain flexibility and retain the highest levels of traction possible.

Claim: Cars with AWD don’t need winter tires

It’s easy to fall under the assumption that AWD enabled cars are built to combat the need for winter tires, but the reality is that winter tires actually enhance your AWD driving experience. AWD systems provide optimized power transmission delivery, but don’t help much in terms of steering and braking situations. AWD is a feature made to improve performance, not safety. The Technology behind the AWD feature is engineered to help a vehicle accelerate, however it does not help a vehicle steer or stop in a shorter distance. That’s where store tires come in. The distance in which your car stops all come to how much traction and grip your tires have and this is why winter tires are made. Winter tires do not compete with AWD technology, but make your AWD experience in the winter that much better.

Claim: “There’s no point in keeping my car clean during the winter. It’ll get dirty again and its a waste of money”

Maintaining a clean car in the winter is a challenge compared to other parts of the year. Especially in Ontario, where snow falls for more than 3 months. However keeping a clean car comes with its benefits. Car care protects our cars, ensuring that they last longer and preserves a higher resale value. Ensuring that built up ice and dirt is removed also keeps you safer. You would hate for a piece of ice or snow to interfere with your vision of the road while you’re driving. Also the elements that make our cars appear dirty, actually eat away at a car’s metal parts, which in turn can compromise safety.

For more expert advice on facing the harsh realities of the winter roads, and ensuring the best and safest travels, come into Subaru of Niagara today.

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Topics: Winter Driving, Safety, Safe Driving, Vehicle Maintenance, Symmetrical AWD, tires

Winter Isn't Too Far Away!

Posted by Subaru of Niagara

Sep 2, 2014 5:00:00 PM

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The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a worse-than-usual winter this year. They are calling for frigid and wet conditions, and temperatures much colder than last year. Whether you take much stock in the Almanac or not, there are some things you can do to get your Subaru ready for winter driving.

Check Your Anti-Freeze

The car’s coolant system is extremely important in the winter months.  Make sure your coolant system is flushed before the first freeze, and also check the coolant system for leaks.  Be sure to put fresh coolant in as well.

Use Your Garage

If you have a garage, use it! A garage or sheltered area protects not only the paint of your car, but is also a guard against your fluids freezing. if you do not have a garage or carport, you may want to invest in a car cover. While this won’t protect you against freezing fluids, it will protect your paint and windshield.

Check Your Heating System

Be sure that your heater system is working correctly, and nothing is leaking. Make sure the blower works and most importantly, make sure the window defroster is operating.

Windshield Wipers

Check your wipers for cracks or tears in the rubber. If they are worn down, replace them.  Also it is beneficial to change to the wiper fluid that contains anti-freeze.

Snow Tires

In the Canadian winter, snow tires are a great investment. You want to ensure traction when driving on icy or wet roads, and by investing in snow tires, it is just one more step in keeping everybody safe on the road.

Emergency Kit

In the worst case scenario, you may need an emergency roadside kit (including flares, flashlight, an batteries. It also helps to keep an extra warm blanket and some water and snacks somewhere in the car. Ideally, you will never use any of these - but it is better to be safe than sorry.

We are still a few months away from this weather, but it never hurts to get a head start on Mother Nature. Come into Subaru of Niagara and get your vehicle all ready to go for the winter ahead!

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Topics: Winter Driving, Safety, Safe Driving, Subaru of Niagara

The Test Drive

Posted by Subaru of Niagara

Aug 29, 2014 4:31:01 PM

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Test driving a car is an important part of buying a used vehicle. They are a crucial part of the buying process, and at Subaru of Niagara, we make it stress-free for you from the start. Check out these tips to make sure you're informed on what you should be looking for during your Subaru test drive.

Comfort

We spend a lot of time in our vehicles. Commutes to and from work, errands, taking the kids to games, trips to leisurely activities. Comfort is a factor of relaxation, but also contributes to our level of safety within our vehicle. Being uncomfortable can be distracting, and distractions are not good for drivers. Adjust the seats, mirrors, and steering wheel to comfortable positions.

Visibility

All car models have different levels of visibility. Check the visibility when the car is parked and when you're on the road to find where your blind spots are and how much they will affect your visibility level.

Noise

Noise can be an aesthetic feature, some vehicles engines are made to sound a certain way to the driver to give off a vibe or an energy. Listen to the car when you drive to determine wether or not some of the noise it makes could be distracting to you.

Size

Be comfortable with the size of the vehicle you choose to drive. You will want to be able to park it. Test out the turning radius of the vehicle when entering and exiting a parking space, and try parallel parking it.

Handling

Be considerate of how the vehicle handles as you drive. How accurate is the car while turning or curving with the road, and see how it fairs on different surfaces.  Be aware of the brake sensitivity, and how the car accelerates. Test the car's handling on roads you typically would use, if you use the highway daily, test the car on the highway for these areas.

Our Subaru dealers will make sure you get the most out of your test drive. Come in today and take a spin!

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Topics: Safe Driving

Road Trip Season is Here! Tips for Planning a Subaru Adventure!

Posted by Alex Digenis

Jun 24, 2014 11:00:00 AM

 

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Subaru of Niagara couldn't be happier to announce that school is almost done again for the kids and its time for plenty of family fun in the sun! Wether you are going camping or to the beach for the day, family road trips are going to happen and you should make sure your Subaru and family are ready for those short and long drives. 

Have a Destination, Not a Plan 

Get together with everyone you will be travelling with and brainstorm ideas for your trip. Have an end location, but pick places you want to stop along the way like shopping malls or attractions (who wouldn't want to see the largest ball of yarn?). Study maps before you leave to know the route you are taking as well as any possilbe detours. Don't get too caught up in the details though, just get a general idea about how long your trip will be and when you should arrive where. 

Make sure you set a budget and (try to) stick to it. Keep in mind that anything can happen so you should keep a credit card on you, just in case.

Driving long hours in the car might sound easy in the planning stage, but it can get difficult after a while. Share the driving time, if you can, and plan for stops every few hours to take a break and stretch your legs. Don't forget to bring along plenty of music, podcasts and / or books on tape. Reception to your favourite station could eventually be lost and it isn't fun listening to static or music you don't like. 

Remember, if you're driving outside of Canada, it's a good idea to have traveller's insurance to protect you and your family in the event of sickness or injury. As we said before, anything can happen, so be prepared!

Passengers 

Everyone can get restless when riding in a car for a while and the last thing a driver wants to hear is "Are we there yet?". To avoid this, make sure you pack right by bringing (non-distracting) toys and games along. If you are travelling with children, keep them close so you can easily reach them. You can always play the classic road trip games like I Spy, License Plates and 20 Questions. These games can keep kids busy for hours and are pretty effective for passing the time with adults as well!

Snacks are a very important thing to bring on any road trip. So pack a cooler and fill it with whatever you and your passengers will want to eat. Common things are water and juice crystals, crackers and cheese, peanut butter and jam or lunch meat with bread, chips, fruit and candy. Remember you don't need to bring every food item with you, there are rest stops along the way and local diners that are usually amazing. 

Service your Vehicle 

Before you leave on any road trips, especially long ones, make sure you have your car serviced. There is nothing worse then getting stuck somewhere and having to wait days for parts to come in. You should make sure the following are checked:

-Battery

-Oil 

-Brakes

-Tire tread and pressure

-Windshield wipers

-Headlights and brake lights 

-Fluid levels

-Belts and hoses

-Spare tire and jack   

Most of these checks come standard when you are getting an oil change, but let your service rep know you're heading out on a road trip, so they can make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip. Your car should also be cleaned, inside and out, before you leave, especially your windows, to ensure full visibility.  

Be Prepared 

You should make sure you carry an emergency kit in your vehicle that has jumper cables, a tool kit, a flashlight and batteries, flares, a blanket, a first aid kit and bottled water. Make sure someone else is carrying a second set of car keys, just in case you lose yours or they get locked in the car. Be sure to pack your maps as well. A GPS is a great tool, but you shouldn't solely rely on it to reach your destination.

If you have made any reservations, ensure they are packed in a safe place so you can easily access them when you get to your destination. You should also keep a list of emergency contacts outside of your phone that includes any hotel or campground numbers, roadside assistance and especially, your emergency contacts. Phones can be stolen or their battery dies, so having a written list in a notebook that is left in your car helps in any unexpected situations. Also, don't forget your hands-free devices, in case your vehicle does not include such a feature.

If you are one of those people who is always forgetting something, make a packing list to help reduce the likelihood of missing anything. It wouldn't be fun getting to a campground to find out you don't have a sleeping bag. Try to pack light and compact though so nothing is blocking the rear view window from the driver's view and so that you have a chance to purchase things along the way.

Make Memories 

Bring a camera and its charger or tons of extra batteries. Whether it's you behind the lens or you hand it off to a friend, kid or stranger to take photos for you, take them! No two trips are ever the same and you want to be able to look back and say "Here we are at the beautiful beach we stumbled upon" or "This is the moose we spotted driving on the highway!"

You can't always plan everything that is going to happen, but with the right friends, family and prep, you will be sure to have an amazing time with them and your Subaru

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Topics: Safe Driving, Tips and Tricks, Organization

Subaru Driving Tips: Blind Spots & Mirror Adjustment

Posted by Devin Kaulback

Jun 17, 2014 10:45:00 AM

 

Properly adjusted mirrors will keep you safe!

Here at Subaru of Niagara, your safety on the road is important to us. One of the many road hazards we encounter every day is blind spots. Not everyone knows how to properly adjust their mirrors to eliminate them so here are the basics about blind spots and how to avoid them.

What is a Blind Spot?

A blind spot is any area that cannot be seen while looking forward or through either the rear-view or side mirrors. Blind spots can occur when the driver's view of the road is blocked from in front (vehicles frame) or behind (headrests, passengers, cargo, etc.) them.

 

Dangers of Blind Spots

Blind spots can vary in sizes. For compact Sedan's, the blind spot could hide a small motorcycle, whereas a tractor trailer can hide multiple vehicles. Because of this, not only should you be aware of your own blind spots, you need to be aware of others. The most common blind spots are the rear quarter blind spots, which are the areas towards the back of the vehicle on both sides.

Because of blind spots and their potential to hide objects, there is a chance of a collision occurring in the short amount of time that it takes you to check a blind spot. To reduce the chance of collision, make sure your mirrors are adjusted properly so you only need to glance at your mirrors, not turn your head completely, so your attention stays on the road as long as possible.

 Mirror Adjustment

How to Avoid Blind Spots

Getting rid of blind spots is actually pretty simple; it's all about angling your rear-view and side mirrors correctly. Your rear-view mirror should be angled so that its view is directly out your rear window. Don't tilt it to either side, that's what side mirrors are for.

Side mirrors should be adjusted so that you don't see the side of your car. To do this, sit normally in your driver's seat, tilt your head left so that it almost touches the window. Then adjust the mirror so that you can barely see the side of your car. Do the same for the right side mirror by sitting as close to the center of the car as possible and adjusting the mirror so you can barely see the side of your car.

 

Adjusting your mirror is not the only thing you should do to avoid blind spots. You should still be doing shoulder checks before turning or changing lanes, but those checks will feel more like a peek.

Use your peripheral vision too. Peripheral vision might not be as clear as central vision, but it is more sensitive to light and movement so it helps us to detect if anything is happening that we aren't looking directly at (like a suddenly stopping car).

Always keep a clear view while driving. So be sure to keep anything that could block your view, out of windows. Your windows, especially your windshield and driver- and passenger-side windows, should not be coated with anything (like tint) that would make it difficult to see in or out of. Be sure to keep your windows as clean as possible as well.

 

Testing Your Results

The next time you are driving in the right lane, take a moment to follow a car driving in the left lane with your mirrors. Without moving your head, look in your rear-view mirror and follow the car in the left lane. Before it disappears from view, quickly glance at your left-side mirror. You should be able to see the car immediately. As the car passes out of view, you should be able to see it in your peripheral vision through your driver-side window. Do the same thing for your right side mirrors while in the left lane. If your mirrors are adjusted properly, your blind spots should be eliminated. If you notice a blind spot for even a fraction of a second, your mirrors need to be slightly adjusted.

Subarus are built to keep you safe, but we can't control everything that happens on the roads. Keep these and our other driving tips in mind and stay safe!

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Topics: Safe Driving, Tips and Tricks

Stay Safe in your Subaru when Heavy Rain Hits

Posted by Alex Digenis

May 22, 2014 1:38:00 PM

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Spring is well underway and that means spring showers are hammering Niagara. You may not realize it, but spring and summer's sudden downpours can be just as dangerous as the icy winter roads it feels like only just melted away. So next time the rain starts coming down hard, keep some of these driving tips in mind to stay safe in your Subaru:

 

Slow down! 

The first rule of driving in the rain is to slow down. Drive at a speed you feel comfortable at, given the weather conditions. By slowing down, you will have more time to react if another car loses control in front of you. And in case you need to slow down even more, take your foot off the accelerator, avoid using your brakes.

 

Watch the water

Hydroplaning can be one of the more dangerous occurrences in heavy rain. This is when your vehicle is actually on top of the water and no contact with the ground. When this happens, you lose or significantly reduce your traction, so try not to make any sudden motions. Just keep calm, take your foot off the gas and keep driving straight.

When you come to a large puddle, try not to drive straight through it if you can help it. It is better to drive around or turn around and try another route. When there is a big puddle, it isn't easy to tell just how deep it really is, and driving through could end with hitting a deep pothole or splashing water into your Subaru's electrical system. This goes for running water as well. If there is water running across the road, ir could be deeper than you expect or more forceful. Don't risk you vehicle being pushed around or swept up in a current.

And if you do drive through water, tap the brake pedal lightly to help dry your rotors after.

 

Keep your distance

When it's raining, you need to brake earlier and with less pressure than you would in dry weather. That means you need more stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will also help the drive behind you know that you're slowing down or stopping with a bit of extra time. As a rule of thumb, keep more than 3 seconds of distance between you and the car you are following when the weather is bad.

And with large trucks or buses, try to avoid passing them at all. The spray from their tires can make it extremely difficult to see, so if you absolutely have to pass them, make it as quick and safe as possible.

 

Maintain visibility

With rain comes dark clouds, so turn on your headlights to help you see better and to help others see you. But avoid your high beams, the extra light will just bounce off the rain, being more distracting for you, and blinding for others.

And if the rain causes your windshield to fog up, turn on your window defrosters immediately. Switch on the AC so the fog clears as quickly as possible.

Of course, if the rain is coming down so hard that you can't see anything, find a safe place to pull over and wait it out. Make sure your hazard lights are on so others can see you at the side of the road.

 

At Subaru of Niagara, we promise you safety, but we can't control the weather. Use our driving tips to stay safe, and let your Subaru take care of the rest.

 

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Topics: Safety, Safe Driving

Stay Safe on the Roads this Spring

Posted by Devin Kaulback

Apr 4, 2014 3:48:00 PM

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We are hoping it's safe to finally say the worst winter in years is finally behind us (knock on wood) and it's time to welcome spring. With the melting of the snow comes easy spring driving, right? Not quite. Spring brings its own driving hazards, so don't let your guard down yet.

You already drive a Subaru, so you're already on the right track when it comes to safety, but here are some tips to make sure you stay safe this spring.

 

A wet road is just as bad as an icy road

With spring comes rain and with rain comes wet roads. Be cautious — tires can and will hydroplane, losing contact with the road, which is just as bad as hitting a patch of pure ice. Rain also causes any oil that has dripped onto the road to rise to the top of pools of water, making it even slipperier. Water tends to gather in the outside lanes, so when it is raining and wet out, try to stay in the middle lanes for the safest drive.

 

Replace worn tires and wiper blades

If you have been driving on all-season tires all winter long, check your tires for worn treads, which will cause a loss of traction. While you're at it, make sure your tires are properly inflated. Also check and replace your wiper blades. This winter had a lot of snow, ice and salt that does a number on your wipers. If they look at all worn, replace them with new ones. Also clean your windshield with a good cleaner to improve wiper performance.

 

Watch for potholes

We live in Canada and that spring means more than budding trees. It also means pothole season. Snow and ice dominated our region this winter and the spring thaw can cause potholes. Keep an eye out and avoid them if you can, but if you can't, don't break while driving over them. Slow down, but release your brake before impact. Braking causes your tire to slam into the edge of the pothole with far more force than if you allow your vehicle go over the pothole.

 

Keep your distance

When you are driving in normal circumstances, three seconds is a safe distance behind the car ahead. However, when it is raining or storming, increase this distance to eight seconds. To find out if you are following at a safe distance, choose a fixed point or object, like a street sign, when it is even with the car in front of you. If you reach that point before you count to eight, back off a bit.

 

Share the road

With warm weather comes cyclists and motorcyclists. Stay focused and watch the road to be aware of these smaller vehicles. Looking out for and respecting cyclists is just as important as watching for other larger vehicles.

 

Watch for children

The cold winter kept children inside for months and they are excited to get back outside. Pay careful attention in residential neighbourhoods and school zones. Kids are easily distracted when they are playing and may not always notice oncoming traffic. Also watch for teenagers and other pedestrians who are fixated on the phones and also aren't paying attention to the traffic around them.

 

Even though your Subaru is built to keep you safe, no one can completely what happens when you take to the roads. With these tips in mind, have a safe spring!

 

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Topics: Safe Driving, Spring driving

Shedding some Light on Driving at Night

Posted by Devin Kaulback

Feb 25, 2014 12:52:05 PM

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Unlike other dangerous driving conditions or distracted driving, driving at night is almost entirely unavoidable. Just because the sun goes down, doesn't mean our lives are put on hold. We drive home from work, go out for dinner and travel in the dark without thinking twice about the lack of light. 

 

The facts and numbers

There are some people who are afraid to drive at night and, quite honestly, some of the facts show that they aren't unreasonable.

While only 25% of driving happens after the sun goes down, 55% of driving fatalities occur at night. Why is this? To begin with, 90% of a driver's reaction time depends on his or her vision of the road. It takes about 200 feet to stop a vehicle going 100 km/hour, but when you have your low beams on at night, they only reach about 160 feet. That leaves 40 feet of unknown between you and your stopping point.

That isn't to say that you shouldn't drive at night, as we said it is virtually unavoidable. We just want you to stay safe - that's what Subaru of Niagara is all about.

 

Safety tips for night driving

  • Always keep your headlights, tail lights and windows clean. As we said, visibility is 90% responsible for a driver's reaction time, and keeping things clean will ensure your visibility is optimal.

  • When in doubt, turn your headlights on. As twilight comes on, turn your headlights on, whether you think you need them or not. At dusk, your lights won't improve your visibility very much, but they will allow other drivers to see you more clearly.

  • Make sure your headlights are properly aimed to give you the best light on the road in front of you. Other drivers will also thank you for not blinding them.

  • Give yourself room on the road. Do not overdrive your headlights (remember the 200 feet rule from above) and increase your distance between other vehicles. Remember, you are only in control of your own driving, not the driving of those around you.

 

If you are a driver who gets nervous as the light fades, keep these safety precautions in mind. While driving at night doesn't give you the safest driving conditions, when you are confident and safety minded, there is nothing to worry about.

 

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Topics: Safety, Safe Driving

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