Tips to Improve Night Time Driving
I was getting ready to go home from work the other day, and for some reason, I just looked out and said hey … it is getting dark earlier and earlier. I thought soon I will be heading home at night. It is getting to be that time of year.
Later that night I brought up the same observation at dinner. There was quite a banter about night time driving, so I decided to do some research. “Shorter days, fatigue, compromised night vision, rush hour and impaired drivers all contribute to making driving at night more dangerous than any other time of day. In fact, the risk of a fatal crash is three times greater at night,” according to National Safety Council research.
What to Do?
While most of us see night driving as nothing more than a nuisance, it can turn into something much worse if caution is not used. However, night drivers can be made into a much safer experience by using the following eleven tips.
- Don’t stare at oncoming headlights. Oncoming headlights have the ability to temporarily blind you at night which can easily cause an accident.
- Be aware of driver fatigue. While driving at night, there is a greater risk of you or another driver becoming fatigued and potentially falling asleep at the wheel. A good way to avoid this is to talk to someone in the car or to turn on the music.
- Use your high beams with caution. High beams are an excellent tool to make night driving easier. However, they can become a hazard if you don’t turn them off when you see another car, as that can cause an accident.
- Be cautious of impaired drivers. At night a common risk is impaired drivers on the roads. If you see someone driving erratically, you should call the cops and exercise a high degree of caution.
- Keep distractions to a minimum. While driving at night, eliminating distractions is very important. Try to refrain from using your phone, or any other distractions.
- Be on the lookout for animals. Animals are a huge problem for night drivers. Animals on the side of the highway and come out of seemingly nowhere. This is a bigger problem in Newfoundland where there are an excessive amount of accidents caused by moose.
- Reduce your speed. A common cause of an accident at night is people going too fast at night which can cause collisions, going off the road and others. As tempting as it may be to speed as there is reduced traffic, but it’s not worth it.
- Watch for pedestrians. This applies to driving in a town or city but is still important. Being vigilant for pedestrians is very important especially near eateries or pubs at night.
- Try to travel during hours your usually awake. Travelling during hours your usually awake is very helpful in avoiding driver fatigue as your body won’t be ready to go to sleep yet.
- Avoid driving between midnight and 6 AM. The national sleep foundation recommends not to travel during these hours to avoid driver fatigue, as these are the hours when most people are asleep.
- Make sure to have a roadside assistance kit that includes a source of light. Having one of these can be the difference between life and death if you are involved in a nighttime collision on the road.
While these tips can be very helpful and effective, they are not the only way to make nighttime driving safer. One of these ways is making sure your eyesight is not impaired. You should visit an eye doctor to see if you need glasses before you drive at night. If you do need or have glasses, a good investment to help with nighttime driving is to buy no glare glasses. Not having any glare while driving is very helpful. Some other ways to eliminate glare at night, regardless of if you have glasses or not, is to make sure your windows and windshield are clean. The final way to improve your vision at night is to ensure that your wipers are in good condition and that they are working. If your wipers aren’t working correctly, it can cause smudging and additional glare on your windshield, which may unfortunately lead to an accident.
In Case of Emergency
If you see someone on the road who appears to have had a nighttime driving accident, there are many things you can do to help them. A few of these include:
- Assess the situation. Assess the situation before you attempt to help anyone. Look for any dangers and see if there are any visible injuries.
- Call 911. You should definitely call 911 if the accident is at all severe.
- Administer first aid if it is safe to do so. Administer first aid if you are certified to help and wait with them until help arrives.
While night driving can be nothing more than an annoyance, without the proper amount of caution being exercised it can turn into something much worse. However, it can be made safe by following the tips, making sure your eyesight is ok and knowing what to do if an accident does happen.
So with all that said one of the best tools to have in your toolbox for dealing with Night Time Driving is, having your car properly insured. Why not take the time to give one of our Customer Care Specialists a call to review your automobile insurance needs. Crosbie Job has one shape or another been protecting Newfoundland and Labradorians for over a hundred years. Give us a call or drop us a note so we can help make sure that “You Can Sleep Easy! We’ve Got You Covered”
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