Night driving is certainly not the same as driving in daylight hours. According to the National Safety Council, death rates on the road are greater at night than during the day. Why is night driving so hazardous? Is it because we are not aware of the hazards that are present at night? Or is it that we do not know how to deal with the hazards effectively? One obvious factor is darkness; almost all the drivers’ reaction on the road depends on their sight, and we all know that at night, our vision is severely limited. Other important visual concepts are compromised at night like depth perception, peripheral vision and recognizing colors.
Fatigue is another factor that contributes to night driving. It slows down the driver’s reaction time and makes driving very difficult to concentrate on. Do not drive if you are sleepy or have not had enough sleep; this increases your chances of getting into a car crash. Another situation that you should avoid is driving late at night on the weekends. Alcohol is a top contributor is traffic crashes, and they are more likely to happen on a weekend night than any other time in the week.
There are a few night driving tips that can help minimize your after dark dangers and keep you and the drivers around you safe.
• Prepare your car. Make sure your headlights, signal lights, tail lights work and that your windows are clean enough for you to see through.
• Your headlights should be properly aimed as well, when they aren’t; it reduces the other drivers’ ability to see. It also impairs your vision on the road.
• Don’t ever drink and drive. There are so many ways that alcohol affects your body, so if you plan on drinking please have a taxi or a sober friend take you home. This will keep everyone on the road safe.
• Being seen is just as important as seeing, so turn your headlights on. It makes it easier for other drivers to see you better in early twilight.
• It is harder to judge someone’s distance and speed so make sure that you keep a safe distance from the car in front of you and reduce your speed so that a high speed collision doesn’t occur.
• Never use your high beams if you are behind a vehicle because it blinds the driver ahead of you.
• If you are too tired to drive, stop and rest some before going on the road again.
• If you encounter car problems, pull to the side of the road as soon as possible. Turn on your flashers and stay off the roadway.
Your eyes are always adjusting to light changes so it is important to take extra precautions at night to drive safely.
A Sense Of Humor Defensive Driving
7920 Glenview Drive
Richland Hills, TX 76180