Last updated on November 20, 2020 at 04:38 pm
As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, it’s important to keep in mind that nighttime driving presents a unique set of risks. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), while we do only one quarter of our driving at night, 50% of traffic-related deaths happen after the sun goes down. Dark conditions compromise your visibility, depth perception, peripheral vision and color recognition. With these senses dulled, you have less time to react.
Being aware of these increased dangers and taking certain precautions can help you avoid trouble on the road after dark. Here are nine tips for driving at night:
- Stay focused. Distracted driving is dangerous in ideal driving conditions, so don’t take your chances at night. Help make our roads safer – day or night – by staying focused 100% of the time you’re behind the wheel.
- Stack the odds in your favor. Clean your headlights and taillights weekly and get your vision checked on a regular basis.
- Turn on your headlights early. During twilight, your eyes are adapting to the encroaching darkness, so make sure other drivers can see you.
- Take extra precautions. Reduce your speed and increase your following distance so you can react to what may be hidden in the darkness.
- Properly aim your headlights. Misaimed or misaligned headlights can blind other drivers on the road.
- When following, use low beams. If an oncoming driver fails to turn off their high beams, avoid glare by focusing on the right edge of the road and use that edge as a steering guide.
- Dim dashboard lights. This will help you to see things outside your vehicle more clearly.
- Don’t drink and drive. Even one drink can increase fatigue while driving.
- Be alert. Nighttime fatigue can dull your concentration and slow your reaction time. Make stops to stretch your legs and grab some snacks to help combat tiredness.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you get behind the wheel after dark and be sure to share them with your friends. If you have a Plymouth Rock Assurance auto policy, you have the option to use the Get Home Safe® taxi reimbursement program if you’re too drowsy or just don’t feel safe driving.
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