Now that fall is here and Daylight Saving Time is coming to an end, most of us will be spending a lot of time driving in the evening. However, there are unique dangers on the road when the sun goes down.
The National Safety Council (NSC) states that the risk of a deadly collision is three times higher when it is dark outside. Understanding the potential dangers and practicing safe driving techniques are the best ways to avoid a car accident, injury, or death.
The following are the main reasons why driving at night can be dangerous:
- Difficulty seeing – Even if your headlights are on high-beam mode, limited visibility on the road gives you less time to react to unexpected situations, especially if you are driving at high speeds. It can be more difficult seeing other vehicles, pedestrians, road signs, and traffic lights. Furthermore, our ability to see clearly in the dark diminishes as we grow older. If you have a hard time seeing at night, drive slowly, provide enough space between you and the other vehicles on the road, and get your eyes checked by a doctor.
- Rush hour – Although rush hour is dangerous when the sun is up, it can be even more treacherous when it’s night. Congested roads, the slow stop-and-go crawl, and aggressive drivers trying to get home as quickly as possible require you to be focused at all times. When you are in the middle of rush-hour traffic, remain calm, avoid tailgating, and do not use your phone or engage in distracted driving.
- Driving under the influence – Collisions involving drunk or drugged driver result in 30 deaths every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Weekend nights are considered the worst times of the week for fatal crashes. Remain vigilant for drunk drivers on the road and avoid operating a vehicle if you’ve been consuming alcohol.
- Fatigued driving – Drowsy driving is just as bad as intoxicated driving. While many people have fallen asleep while driving, more adults drive despite feeling tired. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that 100,000 accidents related to driver fatigue have been reported by law enforcement throughout the country. To avoid fatigued driving, get at least seven hours of sleep each night. If you’re feeling tired, either pull over and take a nap, let a passenger in your vehicle take over driving duties, or check into a motel to get some rest.