Winter season is here again! The time of the year where it gets dark early, giving rise to increased risk of vehicle crash.
Below are reasons why driving after dark can increase your risk of crashing and what you can do to lower your risk:
It’s harder to see at night, no doubts. The absence of sun makes it harder to see. Road signs, other cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and animals are almost invisible. This makes it harder to estimate the distance between your car and other objects.
How to lower your risk of crashing: Slow down! Allow more space between you and the cars around you.
This is a condition that makes it hard to see at night or under poor lighting. Eye conditions like cataracts can cause night blindness.
How to lower your risk of crashing: Book an appointment with an eye doctor and get your eyes checked. Your eye doctor will check for conditions that lead to night blindness. While there’s no miracle cure for night blindness, it can be well managed.
The older we get, the harder it becomes to see at night. A 65-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as the average 30-year-old. This is according to a report by the National Safety Council (NSC).
How to lower your risk of crashing: Slow down and pay more attention to your surroundings as you get older. If possible, avoid driving in the dark.
Road construction often takes place at night. This can pose a risk for drivers at night.
How to lower your risk of crashing: Be careful! Stop or slowly drive past construction zones.
- More Drunk Drivers on the Road
There are more drunk drivers on the road at night. With an increase in drunk drivers comes an added risk of accidents. Weekend nights are the worst part of the week for fatal accidents, according to the NSC.
How to lower your risk of crashing: Assume you’re the only sane driver on the road. So, drive in defense and signal your intentions clearly.
Nighttime Driving Safety Tips
Ensure your headlights and brake lights are working well.
Turn your headlights on early; about an hour before the sun goes down. This will make it easier for other drivers to see you at dusk.
Dim your interior lights to avoid distractions.
Slow driving improves your ability to react fast to whatever comes out of the dark.
Keep an eye on your speedometer.
Increase your following distance.
Try not to look at oncoming headlights. Instead, focus on the right side of the road near the white lines.
Keep your windshield clean.
If you feel sleepy, park and find somewhere safe to nap.
Using the above tips will keep you and others safe at night.
Attorney Jason Weisser of Shuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck comments about night driving: “This time of year it gets dark around 6pm. That is still during “afternoon drive time” for most commuters. Make sure you are well rested and you follow these tips to keep you and your loved ones safe behind the wheel when driving in the dark. ”
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