Safe Night Driving Tips
Daylight Saving Time goes into effect this Sunday ushering in a time of the year with more of our driving done in low light or nighttime conditions. According to the NHTSA, car-related collisions are three times more likely to occur at night rather than during the day. At night, drivers’ vision and ability to decipher color and depth are much lower than during the daylight hours. In addition, drivers tend to feel more tired during the nighttime hours which results in slower reaction times and higher risks of collisions.
As the holiday season is quickly approaching we will be heading out driving more at night. Add to that many of us visiting family in the country where roads are less likely to be well lit or have robust shoulders and the risk of collision increases
Here are a few tips to ensure safe night driving that gets you to your destination safely and reduce the risk of collision repairs.
Clean and Maintain Headlamps and Windshield
Maintaining good visibility is important. Be sure to check your turn signals, brake lights, reverse lights and of course your headlights on a regular basis. Although you are likely to catch a headlight that is out, you could easily miss a brake light or taillight that doesn’t function. It might also be a good time to follow our advice on some basic vehicle maintenance as well.
Your headlights are the most important aspect of your vehicle when driving at night. If they are not working well or are dirty, this can significantly increase your chances of getting into a serious accident.
Check your wipers to see if they need replacing. Check your washer fluid. Bugs, mud, overspray from trucks on the highway — there are numerous things out there that can affect your visibility. Fill up the washer fluid when you gas up, and it doesn’t hurt to have an extra jug on hand. If you can’t see where you are going, that’s a problem.
Speaking of Seeing and Safe Night Driving …
Turn Your Headlights On Earlier
If you notice that it’s getting darker, it’s better to be safer than sorry by turning your headlights on. Even though you may not need them to see the road, you will make it easier to be seen, which will make you safer.
Avoid Staring at Oncoming Headlights
During nighttime driving your eyes get accustomed to the dark roadway and the dim glow of the dashboard. When a bright incoming light approaches you (a bright road sign or headlights), it can easily disrupt you without realizing it and can lead to a collision.
Slow Down and Keep Your Distance
In general, nighttime driving is more hazardous than daytime driving. Therefore, you should slow down and give yourself more distance from other vehicles than you would during the day.
Watch for Animals
Animals crossing the road at night are one of the most common reasons for collisions while driving at night (especially on the highway). Be sure to take notice of animal crossing signs while driving at night and be sure to reduce your speed accordingly when you see these signs.
Accidents Happen. We Get It.
Here at Hollingsworth Auto, we provide friendly, quality collision repair — when you need it. However, we also want you to be prepared to avoid those accidents and stay safe. Check out our post on Holiday Travel Preparedness. If all the appropriate precautions are followed, driving at night can be a calm and wonderful experience and should not be feared. So enjoy your night drive and stay safe!