Night Driving– Staying Safe After Dark
It is important to be cautious and recognize the potential for danger when driving at night.
Staying safe on the road after dark can be a challenge, even for the most experienced drivers. According to the National Safety Council, traffic death rates are three times greater at night than during the day. Ninety percent of a driver’s ability depends on vision, which can be greatly impaired after dark.
Following are some tips to help you arrive safely at your destination:
- Clean headlights, taillights, and the inside and outside of windows regularly.
- Do not drink and drive.
- Avoid smoking while driving—nicotine and carbon monoxide can hinder night vision.
- Turn on headlights even in early twilight—it will help make you more visible.
- Reduce speed. No matter how good your vision is, you cannot see beyond your headlights, so maintain a speed that allows you to stop in that distance.
- Increase following distance.
- Avoid the glare of an oncoming vehicle with high beams on by watching the right edge of the road and using it as a steering guide.
- Follow all safety rules even more diligently at night.
- Always carry flares or reflectors in case of a breakdown.
- Pull as far off the road as possible if you do experience car problems.
- Use high beams carefully. High beams can extend your field of vision and, therefore, your opportunity to react to hazards. Be sure to turn high beams off when other drivers approach.
- If you feel that you are at risk for falling asleep at the wheel, pull over and rest.