Night driving presents challenges that, when addressed beforehand, are easy to overcome. Whether you’re exhausted after a long day of work or have difficulty seeing when the sun goes down, take a look at how you can sharpen your skills and become a safer driver.
In 2015, drowsy drivers caused an estimated 90,000 auto accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Drowsy driving-related crashes are most likely to happen between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. Even though drowsy driving is a serious traffic problem, you can take steps to avoid it. These include:
Getting enough sleep. Make getting seven to eight hours of a sleep a night a priority. Creating a regular sleep routine can help you to stay continuously well-rested, making the possibility less likely you’ll end up in a drowsy driving situation.
Understand your limits. Instead of pushing yourself to drive one more hour on a long-distance car trip or stay out past your normal bedtime, know your limits and stick to them.
Stop for sleep. This is a necessary part of completing a long-distance drive. When you start to feel drowsy, pull over, find a safe place to sleep (such as a roadside hotel or motel), and recharge yourself. Never wait until you drift off or your eyes start to close to stop for sleep.
Along with these strategies, try to avoid driving late at night. Plan road trips ahead of time, scheduling the bulk of your drive for daylight hours.
Clean the Windshield
A dirty, streaky, or dust-covered windshield is challenging to see out of on its own. Add in the dim light and the difficulty driving at night multiplies. Always keep your car well-stocked with windshield washer fluid. This makes removing flying debris such as mud or insects easier.
While the exterior of your windshield is easy to clean while driving, the same isn’t true for the interior. Cigarette smoke, dust, and moisture can all leave behind streaks or blurry patches that obstruct your view. Carefully clean the interior of your windshield regularly with a glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth.
Wear Prescription Glasses
If you’re required to wear corrective lenses to drive, always do so. Already-reduced vision during night driving can intensify the situation, making seeing almost impossible to do. Have an eye doctor check your vision regularly to ensure that your glasses are the correct prescription for your eyes.
Even though wearing glasses while driving at night is important, wearing lenses that aren’t prescription can have the opposite effect. Only wear corrective lenses that your eye doctor prescribes. Polarized or glare-reducing lenses that eyewear manufacturers sell under the guise of increasing night vision acuity may make seeing harder to do.
Maintain Your Headlights
Properly working headlights are essential for nighttime driving. Before driving at night, check the bulbs in your headlights to make sure that they’re well-lit. Along with the lightbulbs, assess the exterior plastic components and coverings. Remove dirt, mud, or anything that obstructs the light.
Never use duct tape (or another similar product) to reattach a broken or damaged light covering. The shadow from the tape can make it impossible for an adequate amount of light to escape, decreasing your ability to see at night.
Drowsy driving, low night vision, and headlight issues are only a few night-driving obstacles. But this doesn’t mean you should limit yourself or stay off the road during nighttime hours. Insuring yourself with the best policy possible can minimize the financial risks that come with night-drivingrelated incidents.
Do you need new auto insurance? Contact Family Insurance Centers for more information.