Driving at night presents its own set of challenges. Outside of the obvious limitations due to lack of sunlight, drivers must be on their toes (figuratively) and drive defensively to avoid nighttime driving accidents.
Below are some tips to help you navigate the night like a pro.
Even if you know the roads like the back of your hand, you should drive slower at night. Distance and speed are both harder to judge at night. This means that you may misinterpret how fast the car that’s coming over the hill is driving and pull out in front of it too soon.
Watch for People and Wildlife
Have you ever been driving at night and all of a sudden see a person seemingly appear out of nowhere on the sidewalk? How about a deer (or the entire family as is usually the case) that’s casually walking along the road waiting for the perfect moment to pounce in front of your car. Pedestrians may not always wear reflective clothing and the deer certainly aren’t going to, which means that it’s up to you to stay vigilant and survey your surroundings.
Beware Drunken and Fatigued Drivers
More accidents occur at night simply because there are more factors at play that influence those accidents. Fatigued drivers might be coming off of a long shift with little to no rest. A drunk driver may be driving home after last call. Neither of these drivers is thinking clearly, which means you have to be extra careful when driving at night.
Learn How To Handle Blinding Lights
If you encounter a driver who has insanely bright headlights or forgets to turn down their high beams, your eyesight may take up to 10 seconds to recover. That’s enough time to cause a major accident if you’re not paying attention. This is why keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you while also traveling at a safe speed is crucial.
Learning how to safely drive at night boils down to practicing the same defensive driving techniques that you use during the day with just a bit more caution. If you need a refresher on the rules of the road, consider taking an online or in-person driving improvement course through A1 Driver.