Day Driving vs Night Driving in India
Year 2006, Month October, I was driving through NH5 in torrential downpour, heading my way back to Cuttack from Hyderabad. Near Behrampur town at around 2 AM in the night, after successfully manoeuvring a lot of diversions because of the Golden Quadrilateral work in progress, I saw a straight smoothly laid road in front of me. With the intention to reach my destination Cuttack as soon as possible, I pushed the accelerator. I might be running at around 100 kmph but because of the rain, near zero visibility, non-fluorescent painted diversion, I hit it head on and that was the end of my epic journey. I was saved by the seat belts but in retrospect I know the blame goes to “driving in the night”.
Year 2013, Month October, Time around Midnight, I was driving through NH7, this time returning to Hyderabad from Pondicherry via Bangalore. A firm determination that I will not cross 100 kmph during the journey, made me realise how amazing night driving is, if you choose to stay within limits. My almost 8 year old Ford Fiesta (Petrol) gave a mileage of 16+ kmpl with 5 passengers on board and with AC on always. Now that’s something which cannot be overlooked.
This brings me to the topic of today’s debate, advantages and disadvantages of Day Driving vs Night Driving in India.
Advantages and Disadvantages of DAY DRIVING:
By day driving, I mean to leave very early in the morning just before the first light of the dawn, drive whole day and end the journey maybe just hours within the dusk.
- Normal biological clock prevails, no stress on the body to overcome the biological clock
- Leaving early morning, one can easily avoid the traffic exiting the respective city
- Visibility is the best – you can see tll the horizon of the road with all the road signs properly
- You can speed up to the limits of the road, of your car and of your guts
- People around on the road to help you in untoward situations – say a flat tyre, etc
- Easier to get reach of people to ask for direction if required
- Most eateries open along the highway
- Far less people driving under inebriated condition in the day time
- Roadside dhabas also have less lorry drivers drinking alcohol that time
- Lorry traffic is far less during the day time as mostly they prefer to drive in the night
- If ladies want to relieve in any of the fuel outlets, day time it is safer and cleaner
- No high beams from the opposite direction to trouble you and blind you
- Lastly the beauty and fulfilment of seeing the sun rise, while you are on the highway, is just beyond description
- A lot of villagers and local travellers can be seen on their 2-wheelers, even on the highway – might be a hindrance in smooth flow of your car, reducing your speed
- Crossing over a city is troublesome in day time because of high traffic, killing your precious time
- Heat is a factor to be considered, since AC will be on high power under high sun hence mileage will reduce to some extent
Advantages and Disadvantages of NIGHT DRIVING:
By night driving, I mean the time after 9 PM till the dawn.
- Less local traffic in and around city cross-over
- Less heat hence lower AC thus better mileage
- Smooth flow of vehicles on highway with less congestion
- High beam from opposite end is too stressful for the driver
- Less visibility in the night results in more accidents
- The normal biological cycle might trigger the driver to doze off
- Inebriated condition of other drivers might result in accidents
- Not safe for ladies if the car breaks down in midnight in the middle of the highway
- Difficult to find help and support if needed
- Speeding up will be highly restricted because of low visibility hence journey will take more time
VERDICT and MY PREFERENCE:
Since 2006, amongst all my long drives, 90% are Day Driving, for obvious reasons as mentioned above. Whenever I did night driving, it was for the reasons beyond my control. After driving 73,000 km, and after facing 2 unfortunate accidents, my money will always be on DAY DRIVING. If ever I do night driving, I will ensure I have proper 8 hours sleep the day before the journey; I will stick to the speed limit of 100 kmph all through even if the roads are too inviting and I will keep my senses wide open to ensure my safety and that of my co-passengers.