Driving At Night
Why is night driving so dangerous?Ninety percent of a driver’s reaction depends on vision, and vision is severely limited at night. Depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision are all compromised after sundown.
Fatigue also makes driving at night dangerous. Drowsiness makes driving more difficult by dulling concentration and slowing reaction time.
According to the National Safety Council, only one quarter of our driving is at night, however 50% of traffic deaths happen at night. On average, more fatal crashes take place on weekend nights than at any other time in the week.
7 Safety Tips for Night Driving
- Check Lights
Before leaving, make sure your headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows are all clean. Dirty windows and lights can make it hard for you to see out and hard for other drivers to notice you.
- Combat Fatigue
If you’re too tired to drive, stop and get some rest. Make frequent stops for light snacks and exercise.
- Slow Down!
It is harder to judge other vehicle’s speeds and distances at night. Reduce your speed and increase your following distances.
- Avoid High Beam Blindness
If an oncoming vehicle is using high beams, watch the right edge of the road as a guide. Make sure your headlights properly aimed. Misaimed headlights blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.
- Use Headlights
Don’t overdrive your headlights. You should be able to stop inside the illuminated area. When following another vehicle, keep your headlights on low beams so you don’t blind the driver ahead of you.
- Watch for Pedestrians
Pedestrians can be extremely hard to see when it is dark outside. Be careful at intersections, look both way before proceeding to make sure no pedestrians are starting to cross.
- Car Trouble?
If your car breaks down, pull off the road as far as possible. Warn approaching traffic by setting up reflecting triangles near your vehicle and 300 feet behind it. Turn on flashers and dome light to alert other drivers passing. Stay off the roadway and get passengers away from the area.