SAFER NIGHTTIME DRIVING TIPS
Posted on: Oct. 08, 2017 in Driving, Safety

This time of year, it seems like it’s dark when we head out to work and dark when we head home in the evening. During the winter months, driving in the dark is almost unavoidable.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving at night is also dangerous as more than half of all accidents occur in the darkness. Considering limited visibility and fatigue are much higher risks at night, it makes sense that driving once the sun goes down is much more dangerous.

Even if you have excellent vision and you’re well-rested, there’s no telling how impaired the other drivers on the road may be. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you drive as safely at night as possible.

  1. Dim your interior lights. It’s important to be able to see your dashboard and instrument panel when you’re driving, of course, but if it’s too bright, it will make it harder to see what’s in front of you. Use that dimmer and lower your lights.
  2. Don’t get distracted by oncoming traffic. Just like your dashboard lights can make it harder to see, staring at the headlights of cars coming at you can also disrupt your vision. Also, think about the last time someone took a photo of you with a flash – you were probably still seeing that flash long after the shutter snapped. Same thing with those headlights.
  3. Keep your windshield clean. If the glass is dirty, those streaks will cause glare. Also, avoid using your hand to remove fog on your windshield. It may initially remove the moisture, but it will leave streaks that will just create more glare. Keep a cloth in the car for this instead. 
  4. Clean your mirrors, too. Just like your windshield, the glare from the lights of cars behind you will make it difficult to see if your mirrors are all streaked. Clean them with a microfiber cloth and be sure to adjust them so that the reflection of the lights isn’t getting in your eyes. 
  5. Be alert to eyes on the road. You’re more likely to see the eyes of an animal on the road before you see the animal itself, so be on the lookout for a pair of bright eyes reflecting your lights back at you. If you see an animal, slow down to avoid a collision if the animal darts out in front of you.

Here are some bonus suggestions: Try to avoid driving when you’re tired and never drink and drive. If you wear corrective lenses such as glasses or contacts, be sure they are working well for you at night. If not, speak to your eye doctor. Pay attention to the road and avoid becoming distracted, especially by your phone lighting up. Take frequent breaks if you’ll be driving for long periods of time to reduce fatigue.

Following these recommendations can help you and the other drivers on the road get where you need to be in one piece.

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