How to Drive Safer as It Gets Darker Earlier

In The Community

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 PuroClean of Masspequa.

Last edited on 20th of December 2022