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Jun 16, 2014

How to Stay Safe When Driving In the Dark

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Did you know traffic fatalities are 3 times greater than during daylight hours? It’s more dangerous, more challenging, and can take both some preparation and getting used to. So here are some tips to help shed some light on driving in the dark—safer, smarter, and accident free!

Safe Night Driving

Get your vehicle night ready. This means checking the cleanliness of head and tail lights, indicator signals, and windows (inside and out). This improves visibility making it easier for you to see objects on the road, and for other drivers to see you reducing the chance of collision greatly.

Lights on! Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, better safe than sorry. Make sure other cars can see you, and always use your indicator signals for safe lane changes. Avoid shining your high beams into oncoming traffic or cars ahead of you in your lane. Be polite and turn them off until you have passed one another. If another car is discourteous with their own beams, simply flip your mirror to avoid the glare from cars behind you, or look to the right side of the road’s white line for guidance instead of directly into oncoming lights as you pass.

Get yourself night drive ready. Make sure you are prepared for driving by ensuring enough sleep prior to long drives; fatigue reduces mental alertness which can slow reaction times, result in falling asleep at the wheel, and put you in danger of collision or worse. Keeping cool air on or windows open is preferable to a hot environment to stay alert, along with low music or a passenger as your co-pilot to engage in conversation to keep you alert or to take over if necessary. Stop for air, snacks, or exercise to help ‘wake you up’. If both parties are markedly too tired to drive, grab a motel room or a catnap in the car at a truck stop or parking lot.

Get vision checked. Some people have poorer night vision which can affect driving so it imperative (especially with age) to have regular eye exams to see if visual aids are necessary for driving at any time.

Don’t drink and drive—while it is illegal it is also a depressant that indices fatigue and slows reaction time. Be safe and smart and choose non-alcoholic beverages if driving.

Don’t smoke and driver either. The nicotine and carbon monoxide can reduce night vision (plus it’s just bad for your health!)

Choose slower speeds and greater distance when following other cars. This precaution will give you more room when stopping and will help prevent accidents.

Road safety starts with you read and use these tips for safer journeys!

National Safety Council: Night Driving
5 Tips for Driving Safely at Night

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