It’s no secret that driving around after sunset presents a unique set of dangers. Research shows that fatal accidents are three times more likely to occur at night than during daylight hours. At the Don Neeley Agency, we believe that knowledge is power and want to help make sure that drivers of all ages and skill levels have the tools they need to stay safe when driving at night. Keep reading to check out a few of our top nighttime driving safety tips.
Why is Night Driving So Dangerous?
Whether you’re 16 or 60, you know that it’s harder to see at night. Without proper illumination on the road, it’s much more difficult to read road signs. Keep an eye out for pedestrians and break for wildlife. Additionally, decreased night vision makes it much harder to accurately gauge the distance between your vehicle and other cars on the road. This can affect your breaking time and increase your risk of getting into an accident.
Some people have a condition called nyctalopia that makes it extremely difficult to see in poor light or at night. Eye health conditions like cataracts can cause night blindness. Common symptoms include:
- Peripheral vision problems
- Decreased night vision or problems seeing in low light
- The potential loss of central vision
If you are experiencing any of these issues, it’s important to speak to an eye health care professional as soon as possible.
The Natural Aging Process
As we get older, our nighttime vision decreases. In fact, studies suggest that drivers at age 50 may need up to twice as much light to see clearly at night than they did when they were 30. This is another reason why it’s important to get your eye health and vision checked regularly.
While you may think that it’s easy to spot a drunk driver from a mile away, it’s actually much harder to avoid drunk drivers than you’d expect. While drunk drivers can be out on any night, research conducted by the National Safety Council also shows that weekend nights are the worst part of the week for fatal crashes. Driving defensively and paying close attention to your surroundings is the best way to avoid drunk drivers on the road.
Nighttime Safe Driving Tips
- Properly care for and maintain your headlights. Change out both bulbs anytime that one starts to dim or blows out.
- Turn your headlights on while there is still light in the sky. As a good rule of thumb, turn them on at least one hour before dusk.
- Use high beams or “bright” wisely. You should always dim your high beams for oncoming traffic. Additionally, keep in mind that there are certain weather conditions that make it harder to see with your high beams on.
- Keep your windshield clear and streak free. While a few streaks during the daytime may not be a problem, as soon as the sun goes down, they can increase glare. So, always keep some paper towels or a microfiber cloth on hand to keep your windshield clean.
- Dim your interior lights to reduce glare.
- Slow down and increase your following distance. This will give you ample time to break in case of an emergency.
- Never drive while drowsy. If you feel tired, pull over to rest or drive in shifts.
Contact Our Independent Arizona Agents Today
With a few simple safe driving tips and the extra layer of protection provided by a comprehensive auto insurance policy, you can avoid many nighttime driving dangers. To learn more about the benefits of total insurance protection, contact our friendly team today and be sure to request a free quote!