Man behind the wheel

Nighttime Driving: How to Protect Yourself and Everyone Else on the Road

Getting behind the wheel already puts you at risk of danger on the road. Nighttime driving multiplies that risk because of certain factors.

Statistically, fatal accidents are three times more likely to occur at night compared to daytime driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Even the best accident management system can do nothing if you are careless and negligent with how you drive.

What Factors Affect Your Driving During Nighttime?

Compromised Night Vision

Night vision pertains to your ability to see clearly under low light conditions. The more you age, the more difficult it gets to see at night.

Fatigue and Exhaustion

Considering that most folks work during the daytime, by the time they hit the road to go home or wherever it is they’re going, fatigue has already started to set in. However, lack of sleep and sleeping disorders also have adverse effects on one’s physical condition which could add to your exhaustion.

Rush Hour

The volume of cars and people on the road during rush hour only amplifies the risks of accidents, thus making it more dangerous to get behind the wheel between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM.

Impaired Drivers

Almost 30 people fall victim to drunk driving every day. Most impaired drivers are on the road at night, especially between midnight and 3:00 AM on weekends.

How to Stay Safe When You Drive at Night

1. Aim your headlights. 

Ensuring your car’s headlights are aligned properly will help you have a clearer vision of the road before you. Make the necessary adjustments that will allow you to see better at night yet at the same time, not blind oncoming traffic.

2. Dim your dashboard and instrument panel lights. 

The bright lights emitted from your dash or instrument panel can be a source of eyestrain and distraction which can greatly affect your driving.

3. Wear proper eyewear. 

Make sure to always wear the proper glasses. If you are wearing prescription glasses, get ones that are anti-reflective.

4. Avoid staring at oncoming lights.

This is pretty basic. The stuff movie vehicular accidents are made of. Learn from them. Look away from any bright light from oncoming traffic.

5. Clean your windshield using newspaper. 

Get rid of all unwanted streaks across your windshield by giving it a wipe with newspaper. Newspapers are handy when it comes to getting rid of residue.

6. Install fog lights. 

Bolt in a couple of fog lights to help you see better in foggy conditions. They are also helpful as they provide a wider coverage compared to the typical low beam.

7. Make sure your rearview mirrors are clean.

Dirty rearview mirrors can reflect bright lights from behind you in a diffused manner. Keeping them clean minimizes this occurrence.

8. Take good care of your eyes. 

Perhaps the simplest and best way to protect yourself when you drive at night is to keep your eyesight as healthy as possible. Observe proper eye care to minimize eye strain. No matter how clear your windshield is or how good your lights are, if you have poor eyesight, then that already leaves you compromised as a nighttime driver.

Keep in mind that 50% of fatal vehicular accidents happen at night. Regardless of how familiar you are with the road, driving at night is a lot riskier than daytime driving. It is best to always observe road safety as part of your contribution to reducing the number of accidents and deaths on the road.

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