As we progress towards the end of the year, the days are getting shorter, which means it’s getting darker faster. Unfortunately for drivers, this also means that the risk of experiencing a car accident is also increased. According to the National Safety Council, the risk of a fatal crash is three times greater at night. Below are important safety tips for driving in the dark:
Avoid Drowsy Driving
- Getting enough sleep is critical to keeping focused/alert while driving, so be sure to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
- Don’t drive if you’ve been awake for 24 hours or more. You’ll risk falling asleep and/or losing focus.
- Stop for a break every 100 miles (or two hours on the road) to recover mentally and physically.
- Avoid driving during times you normally sleep. If you have to, drink a caffeinated beverage to help you stay awake.
- If you’re feeling drowsy, pull over and take a nap. Better safe than sorry.
Driving after Dark
- Make sure your headlights are clean and aimed correctly. Turn on the headlights before sunset and keep them on one hour after sunrise.
- Dim the lights on your dashboard and reduce reflections to improve visibility of your surroundings.
- Watch the right edge of the road when oncoming bright headlights are coming towards you.
- Don’t blind drivers ahead of you — keep your headlights on low beam.
- Keep your windshield as clean as possible, especially during the night.
- Drive slower than you usually do to compensate for limited visibility.
- Watch out for pairs of tiny bright spots in the distance — an animal might be on the road.
- If you’re driving during rush hour, slow down and stay alert. Everyone should be more cautious, even on familiar routes.
Tips for Older Drivers
- Have vision examinations once a year to make sure your eyes are fit for driving after dark.
- Drive patiently and reduce speed to be able to react in time.
- Consider retaking a driving course, even if you are an experienced driver.
- Maintain focus by not listening to music/the radio and by avoiding talking with passengers.
- Consult your doctor to ensure that your prescription drugs don’t affect your driving.
Learn more safety tips for winter driving in this article and check out how to create a car emergency kit for wintertime here. For professional fire, water and mold restoration services, contact your local PuroClean office.