The Dangers of Driving at Night
Most of us think we drive as well at night as we do during the day. Maybe so, but consider this. According to the National Safety Commission, even though nighttime driving accounts for only 23% of the miles traveled, more than 50% of vehicle fatalities occur between the hours of 6pm and 6am. So what’s different about driving at night?
Decreased vision. The human eye works differently at night. Your peripheral vision is slightly improved, but it is more difficult for the human eye to focus on objects ahead. When traveling at night, you are often moving between well-lit areas and darker roads, which can create issues as well.
Over-driving your headlights. Depending on how fast you are going and what setting your headlights are on, you may be over-driving your headlights. This just means that by the time you see something in your path, it is too late to stop in time to avoid it.
Impaired judgment. According to the National Safety Commission, 66% of fatalities at night involve vehicle drivers or passengers who aren’t wearing seat belts. The chance of a driver being sleepy or impaired by the use of drugs or alcohol is also greater at night.
If you are not comfortable driving at night, then the best thing to do is avoid it altogether. If that is not possible, then keep these things in mind to make sure you have a safe trip.
Check your vehicle’s lights to be sure they are operating properly. Not just headlights, but turn signals, tail lights, interior lights, etc.
Avoid speeding. Leave more space between you and other vehicles than you would during the day. Leave earlier if you need to, to be sure you have adequate time for your trip.
Be aware of your surroundings. Distractions are more deadly at night. Avoid using your cell phone, adjusting your radio or looking for objects in the car while you are driving.
Sometimes driving at night is unavoidable. Just remember, a little extra caution can go a long way.