Night Driving 101
Did you know that the rate of traffic deaths at night is three times greater than driving during the day? It is more difficult to see hazards ahead on the road, and often the lack of scenery can be hypnotizing, sending you into a state of dangerous drowsiness. Whenever you drive after dark, it is important to remember the challenges you may face on the road.
Know How to Stay Safe
Use these safety tips to prevent night driving accidents:
- Turn on your headlights one hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise so other drivers can see you easily.
- Make sure all of your exterior lights are working properly.
- Refrain from looking into your rear view mirror at oncoming headlights. Use the “day-night” feature to reduce the light.
- Do not look directly at oncoming headlights. Look toward the right side of the road, following the white line with your eyes.
- Dim your dashboard lights if excess street lighting is causing a glare.
- Keep your windows clean, as dirty windows can reduce visibility by up to 90 percent.
- Increase your following distance by four or five seconds to give yourself more response time.
- Slow your speed, especially in dangerous weather conditions.
- Adjust your outside mirrors so that the view is just outside of the bodywork of the vehicle.
- Avoid smoking, as the nicotine and carbon monoxide hampers night vision.
- Keep your headlights on low beams when following other vehicles.
- If you have vehicle trouble, pull off the road as far to the right as possible and set up reflector triangles near your vehicle and up to 300 feet behind it. Turn on your flashers and your dome light, and call for assistance.
- Make stops to use the restroom, stretch your legs and have a snack to reduce fatigue.
- If you get too tired while driving at night, stop and take a rest.
Put Yourself First
Wherever your final destination, your safety on the road is more important than arriving on time. If you feel that you are unfit to drive for any reason—whether it is drowsiness, alcohol, or any other reason—do not get behind the wheel.