With Shorter Days There’s More Night Driving
According to the National Safety Council, 90 percent of a driver’s reaction depends on vision – and vision is limited at night. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision all are compromised after sundown. Another dangerous factor is fatigue. Drowsiness slows reaction times and because the body thinks of night as the time to rest, you may become increasingly groggy while driving at night.
Fortunately, you can take several steps to minimize the risks of driving at night. The council recommends the following:
- Clean head, tail, and signal lights regularly.
- Keep your windows clean
- Make sure your headlights are properly aimed.
- Reduce speed and increase following distance.
- Don’t overdrive your headlights. You should be able to stop in the illuminated area.
- When following another vehicle, keep your low beam headlights on so you don’t blind drivers ahead of you.
- If blinded by oncoming lights, look to the right edge of the road as your guide.
- Avoid smoking while driving. Smoke’s nicotine and carbon monoxide hamper night vision.
- If you’re too tired to drive any farther, stop and rest awhile.
- Observe nighttime driving rules as soon as the sun goes down. Early evening can be one of the most difficult times to drive.