Tips for Driving at Night

It’s a part of life. Sometimes we need to drive at night, but chances of an accident are greater than during the day. And traffic deaths are three times greater at night than during the day, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).

Driving at night is more dangerous than people think. The biggest culprit is darkness. Drivers’ reactions depend 90 percent on vision, and vision is not as keen at night, according to the NSC. Another top contender for dangerous night driving is fatigue. Driving when drowsy causes slower reaction times and declining concentration.

To stay alert at night and lower your chances of accidents, you can prepare to drive by planning for the trip.

  • Clean your windows and windshields inside and out for the best visibility at night.

  • Before you drive, check that your headlights and taillights are working and aimed properly for visibility.

  • Driving at dusk is the hardest time of the day to drive because your eyes are constantly adjusting the growing darkness. When in doubt, turn your lights on so other drivers can see you.

  • In the event of car trouble, pull off on the side of the road as far as possible and turn on your hazards. If you have reflective triangles, even better,

  • Turn your high beams on in low traffic areas for better visibility, but make sure to keep your lights on low beam for oncoming traffic and high traffic areas.

  • Slow down and follow other drivers with more than two-car distances between you to allow for ample braking time.

  • Make frequent stops for breaks and stop driving to rest if you’re too tired to drive.

Practice cautious driving and safety at night whether on a trip or driving in your neighborhood. Practice extra caution with young, inexperienced drivers and older drivers who have a harder time seeing in the dark with age.