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How Drivers Can Enhance Nighttime Visibility

night driving (select to view enlarged photo)

FARMINGTON HILLS, MI -- Oct. 1, 2015: Many drivers are considerably less comfortable driving at night than during the day. Statistics indicate that drivers' fears of driving at night are not unwarranted.

According to the National Safety Council®, traffic death rates are three times greater at night than during the day, and the anxiety many drivers feel when behind the wheel at night no doubt contributes to nighttime driving fatalities. But drivers who take steps to enhance their nighttime visibility may feel more comfortable driving at night, making the roads safer for themselves, their passengers and their fellow motorists.

- Turn your headlights on earlier. Daytime running lights can make it easier for drivers to be seen during the day, but they are not designed for nighttime driving. If you find yourself struggling to see as evening transitions into nighttime, turn your headlights on earlier.

- Prioritize headlight maintenance. Headlight maintenance is often overlooked, but properly maintained headlights can go a long way toward improving driver visibility at night. Check your headlight bulbs. If they are more than three years old or dimming, it would be a good idea to replace them to ensure the best performance. Headlamp clouding is also an issue. Plastic headlamp lenses, which are common on most vehicles, grow hazed and yellowed over time from the effects of sunlight, ozone, road pollution, and wash chemicals. While many motorists accept this as inevitable wear and tear, clouding reduces headlight output and compromises nighttime visibility. Designed to restore plastic lenses in less than 30 minutes, the Philips Headlight Restoration Kit quickly and effectively combats clouding on headlights as well as taillights, turn signals and reflective lens covers, improving driver visibility while also making cars more visible to other drivers. The Headlight Restoration Kit employs a protective UV coating that produces longer lens clarity while preventing future clouding for up to two years.

- Take steps to fight fatigue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that driver fatigue contributes to 100,000 reported traffic accidents each year. Drowsiness is a concern for any motorist driving at night for long periods of time, as heavy eyes can make drivers less alert and less likely to see fellow motorists, pedestrians or animals. When driving at night for long periods of time, take periodic breaks so you can get out of the car and revive yourself.

- Upgrade your headlights. According to a recent study from the automotive club AAA, the halogen headlights found in more than 80 percent of vehicles on the road today fail to safely illuminate unlit roadways, even when vehicles are moving at speeds as low as 40 miles per hour. The solution for this problem is simple: Put more light on the road. There is new bulb technology available to help you do just that. Philips Upgrade Headlight Bulbs can deliver up to 100 percent more light on the road than standard halogen bulbs. They also create a better beam pattern for the drive, greatly improving nighttime visibility.

More information is available at Philips Automotive.