Driving at night can become dangerous if you are not prepared. It can be much riskier for both motorists and pedestrians during this time. Visibility is significantly decreased, leading to more factors that may pose a risk of causing an accident. According to The National Safety Council, “Traffic death rates are three times greater at night than during the day.” To keep everyone safe on the road after sundown, practice the following driving tips:
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
It is important to remain alert while driving by ignoring distractions inside and outside your vehicle. If you are driving after dark, avoid engaging in the following types of distractions:
- Engaging with Other Passengers
- Cellphone Use
- Programming a GPS System
- Adjusting Music
- Eating and Drinking
- Reaching for Items in the Car
Practice Defensive Driving Techniques
Not only is your visibility lessened after dark, so is everyone else’s. It is important to decrease your speed and increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. A rule of thumb is to leave AT LEAST three seconds of space between your car and the car in front of you. Implementing these techniques will allow for more reaction time in the event of interference with driving, which could mean the difference between causing an accident or continuing safely on your way.
Check Your Lights
It is important to make sure your lights are working, clean, and clear in order to safely show other drivers where you are. If everyone is visible, it makes accidents less likely to happen. While parked, have someone stand outside your car while you test your headlights, turn signals, and brake lights to ensure everything is working properly. If anything is not working, it is important to get it fixed or replaced immediately.
Ensure You are Ready to Drive
Two issues to be aware of that may impede drivers’ ability to travel safely at night are fatigue and alcohol. If you have been drinking, do not get behind the wheel. Call a friend, family member, or rideshare service. The extra hassle of asking for a ride can save your life – or the life of someone else on the road. Also, make sure to combat fatigue, or just don’t drive if you are feeling too tired. Try to plan longer drives around maintaining a normal amount of sleep. If you feel as though fatigue is starting to set in, try pulling over in a safe place to have a break, or even stop for the night to get a full night’s sleep. Driving after drinking or while drowsy poses a huge risk to everyone on the road.
Know Who to Contact If Something Happens
Driving at night can be safe, as long as you remain alert, practice safe driving habits, and plan ahead for unknown hazards. However, driving can still become dangerous even if you are fully prepared and equipped for your drive. If you were injured in an auto accident, contact Potter Burnett Law today.