Driving at night is more dangerous than driving in daylight because you cannot see as far ahead at night.
Make sure you know and understand the risk factors involved in night driving. Driving at night is more of a challenge than many people think.
There is obviously lower visibility at night. With lower visibility you lose many of your reference points and it becomes difficult to judge distances. Watch carefully for traffic signs, pedestrians, bicycles, animals, and slow-moving vehicles. All of them are more difficult to see at night.
Your peripheral vision is also reduced at night, and the lack of light makes it more difficult to focus on objects. Your eyes take longer to adjust. Eye fatigue is also more common when driving at night.
Glare from oncoming vehicles and street lights also create problems for many drivers.
The older we get, the harder it is to see at night. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), a 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as the average 30-year-old.
Late hours and the lack of sunlight may result in fatigue, which dulls your concentration and increases the time it takes for you to react.
There are also more drunk drivers on the road at night. This increases the risk of accidents. In fact, the NSC indicates weekend nights are the worst part of the week for fatal accidents.
Nighttime driving safety tips:
- Before you drive: make sure your headlights and brake lights are in proper working order. Keep windows clean.
- Turn on your headlights early and before it gets dark.
- Slow down. Always make sure you can stop within the distance you can see ahead. Never overdrive your headlights.
- Increase your following distance.
- When following another vehicle, keep your headlights on low beams.
- Avoid glare from oncoming vehicles by watching the right edge of the road and using it as a steering guide.
- If you feel tired, stop and take a break.