Pedestrian visibility or driving in low visibility conditions
In traffic regulations of Ukraine, in section 4.4. it is said : at night and in conditions of insufficient visibility, pedestrians moving on the carriageway or side of the road should identify themselves and, if possible, have reflective elements on outer clothing, for their timely detection by other road users (No. 876 of October 1, 2008) .
This information will be useful not only for drivers. Pedestrians should know about it who, having dressed black jackets-trousers, are surprised that drivers do not notice them. Add to this the winter, slippery roads and not always the presence of roadside lighting.
Driving at night and in low visibility conditions
Observation of the road and the interaction of participants in the movement is much more complicated in conditions of insufficient visibility and at night. The rules give clear definitions of these concepts. Driving becomes dangerous when the visibility of the road is less than 300 m, which is possible with fog, rain, snow. Conditions of insufficient visibility are characteristic of the transition period from light to dark time of day and vice versa, i.e. at dusk.
With the onset of darkness, the visibility of the road and objects located on it deteriorates. The headlights of the car illuminate only a limited part of the road, and the objects appear in the illuminated area suddenly, they need more time to identify them than during the day. The reaction time of the driver at night increases on average by 5 times.
Characteristics of driving conditions at night
At night, and in conditions of insufficient visibility, color sensation of objects is almost impossible. They differ not in color, but in brightness, and the brightness of road objects (vehicles, pedestrians) and their relative contractility relative to the road is greatly reduced. The distance at which vehicles are detected at night is almost halved compared with daylight, but it seems to the driver that they are at a greater distance. In general, in the evening twilight and at dawn, many drivers receive the so-called optical illusion. The contours of the objects blur, the cars of non-white and not bright yellow colors merge with the background and the road surface. In the headlights distorted objects and road irregularities.
Sharp and frequent changes in the illumination and brightness of objects require continuous adaptation of vision, with the result that the driver's eyes quickly tire.
The greatest danger arises when the driver is blinded with headlights: visibility deteriorates sharply, and often disappears completely. If the driver fails to comply with the Rules regulations during blinding (“without changing the lane, slow down and stop”), then during the time of dark adaptation, the movement of the car will be uncontrollable, and even at low speed (30-40 km / h) the car passes 100 m and more. In these conditions, the driver may not only not see the danger or obstacle, but also not withstand the trajectory of the vehicle. As a rule, he only makes sure that the steering wheel does not change position. However, the car is able to change the trajectory without the driver and go beyond the road. A tired driver is most susceptible to blinding.
Statistics show that in the dark almost half of all accidents occur with the most serious consequences. Accident increases, in particular, due to the weakening of control over the movement. A decrease in traffic intensity gives many drivers confidence that they can move at a higher speed and freer to maneuver than during the day, and weakening control creates a feeling of impunity.
Basic driving techniques at night
To work on the car at night you need to carefully prepare. The elimination of a technical malfunction on the way in the dark time of day requires a lot of time; it is difficult to detect and eliminate the cause of the malfunction, especially such as the leakage of oil or coolant. Therefore, when checking the technical condition of the car should be very careful. Careless stacking tools, rags, fixtures can also be a hindrance in the way. If these objects are scattered, then in the dark, and possibly in the cold or in the rain, the driver will spend a lot of time searching for the desired object.
Particular attention should be paid to cleaning, checking the completeness and operability of lighting fixtures, wipers and washers. Many drivers ignore the need to adjust the headlights - an event that ensures the correct distribution of light on the road and reduces the likelihood of blinding. It is necessary to check and adjust the headlights at least once a year.
The speed of movement in the dark time of day in almost all cases should be less than the speed at daytime. It must be installed so that the stopping distance of the car was less than the distance of visibility. If this rule is not respected, then hitting an obstacle in the visibility zone or colliding with it is much more difficult to prevent.
Driving closer to the oncoming car, the driver must quickly determine whether he is moving or standing still. You can verify this by the shadow cast by the front of the car, or by the reflection of the headlights of a wet road surface. It is necessary to switch the headlights to the dipped beam in the case when the driver feels inconvenience or the driver of the oncoming vehicle has switched the light. After switching, set the speed in accordance with the reduced visibility distance and observe the right edge of the roadway. Periodically you need to look through your lane, but avoid delaying the look on the headlights of an oncoming car. This will preserve the best visual sensation and help replace the obstacle that appears in the lane or appears to the right of it.
If the driver of the oncoming vehicle does not turn off the high beam, it must be warned by switching again. In the event that it continues to violate the Rules or if the state of inconvenience does not disappear after switching, you should slow down, carefully take the right and stop on your lane. It is also recommended to do with oncoming traffic columns of vehicles with headlights on.
It is necessary to be especially careful if the oncoming vehicle follows with the lights off or with one headlight on. It is possible that towards the car moves with faulty headlights (both or one).
On the roads in rural areas it is possible the oncoming traffic of agricultural self-propelled machines, the dimensions of which exceed the width of the lane. In such situations, as in cases with a defective left headlight, the danger is quite real, since the left side of the oncoming vehicle is imperceptible and a collision is possible. To warn him, it is necessary to increase the interval to the half width of the truck or, taking the right, stop.
At night, it is difficult to estimate the distance to the oncoming vehicle or its speed. Therefore, if there are any signs of oncoming vehicle, the intention to overtake should be abandoned. Approaching the overtaken car, you need to change the high beam to the dipped beam at least 150 m from it. At the same time, the road is clearly visible due to the light of the headlights of the overtaken car. High beams can be turned on before completion of overtaking, and the driver of the vehicle being overtaken should turn on the dipped beam before completing the passing.
The turns of the road at night look different than during the day. It is difficult to estimate their curvature, and consequently, to choose a safe speed. When cornering, the outer lane is better illuminated. In the event that the car is equipped with fog or wide-angle headlights, they should be included before the start of the turn.
When a driver sees a beam of light falling across her on a dark road, this means that he is approaching the intersection, which is being approached by another car. It is necessary to establish a speed that allows the driver to take the necessary security measures. Approaching an unlit intersection, it is necessary to warn participants of the movement located on the crossed road, several inclusions and switching off of headlights. When driving on unlit roads, a vehicle standing at or near the road represents a great danger. Therefore, even for a short stop, you must try to drive outside the road.
When driving on a wet or muddy road, it is necessary to periodically stop and wipe the windshield, headlights, turn signal and brake light lamps. In addition, for good cleaning of the windshield must constantly monitor the condition of the windshield wiper and wiper. If the car moves on a broken road, it is recommended to use the dipped headlights, which at a limited speed better illuminates the road directly in front of the car.
Typical mistakes of inexperienced drivers when driving on unfamiliar roads are a loss of orientation and driving to the forest lane or to the right shoulder. It is more convenient and easiest to navigate along the lines of the longitudinal markings, bright fences along the edges of the road, reflectors on the enclosing posts, as well as green areas located in the area of the headlights. It should be remembered that the enclosing posts or reflectors, as a rule, warn that there is a danger in this place - turning, embankment, bridge, etc. By the nature of the headlights of oncoming cars, the driver can determine the profile of the road. The periodic appearance and disappearance of light indicates a crossed profile. If the observed light does not fade, the road ahead is level.
Given the intense fatigue of the driver when working at night, it is desirable that its duration does not exceed 6 hours. To restore performance, it is necessary to take breaks for 5-8 minutes: the first - after 2-3 hours of movement, and the next - after 1-1.5 hours, and the rest should be active. It is also desirable that after 4-5 hours of movement the break is long, with the intake of hot food. After the night flight, as before him, the driver needs a good rest.
Characteristics of movement in conditions of insufficient visibility
Visibility conditions significantly deteriorate during snowfall, heavy rain, and especially in fog. The fog closes the landmarks, changes the color of the rays of all colors except red. Thus, the yellow light in the fog becomes reddish, and the green-yellowish. The fog can be so thick that even with the headlights on you cannot distinguish anything at a distance of 3-5 m.
In dark time and in conditions of insufficient visibility, the driver most of the time is in a state of heightened emotional stress, so he gets tired much faster than in daylight.
Rules of conduct on the road, for pedestrians
Do not accelerate the pace and do not run with the child to stop the desired route of transport. Explain it to your child!