Would you like to be a better driver at night?
Night driving is when most accidents occur. Crashes are much more likely to happen on the road at night for the following reasons:
- Drivers who experience difficulty seeing road lines
- Added confusion in construction zones
- Worsened vision during rain (shiny surfaces that are difficult to distinguish)
- Higher chance of encountering an impaired driver on the road
- General fatigue of all drivers
- More activity from some animals who may attempt to come out into traffic at random
If you want to feel more confident when driving at night, we suggest following this advice.
Take It Slow; Don’t Be in a Hurry
It’s easy to be in a hurry when driving at night because you want to get where you’re going before you get too tired. Actually, this is the time of day when you should be driving the slowest!
Of course, we’re not recommending you drive 35 in a 70 mph zone, but dropping your average speed down by 5 to 8 mph is a smart move. Why?
Consider you’re driving faster than average (for example, 75 in a 70 mph zone):
What would you do if the car in front of you got confused about where the road turned and abruptly put on their breaks?
What would you do if an animal sprinted out in front of your vehicle?
At night, you need to drive slower so that you can cushion your reaction time.
Take Even More Care When Inclement Weather and/or Construction is Present
Snow and ice can certainly make roads slippery, and blowing snow can make it more difficult to see.
In addition, night driving is complicated further when it’s raining. The mixture of rain and darkness makes roadways and other surfaces appear shiny and reflective.
In some parts of the country, road construction may occur at night as well. At some points, workers will be present, and they can be difficult to see. The good thing is that most night construction crews will have large lights to illuminate the area.
Even when workers aren’t present, though, it’s important to be a careful driver in construction zones at night. Lanes may close, seemingly out of nowhere, and you may have to follow narrow makeshift lanes lined by orange barrels for miles.
Watch Other Drivers Carefully
At night, it’s not uncommon to be on the road with overly sleep drivers and/or impaired drivers. Both are a danger to you and your passengers.
Of course, you probably won’t know you’re near an impaired driver who’s been drinking too much or someone who’s too tired to be on the road unless they make a wrong move. In this case, you should remember to drive defensively.
Be on the lookout for these types of drivers at night. When you see one, stay away by passing them or letting them speed ahead of you. If they’re truly driving erratically and it’s not just a passing suspicion on your part, try to get their license plate number and call the police. They will inevitably be a danger to themselves and others on the road.
Still worried about night driving? If you can, the best way to stay away from the dangers of this type of driving is to avoid it.
Do your best to organize trips that don’t involve night driving. When you have to drive at night, try to do it as early in the evening as possible. And finally, whenever you’re feeling excessively sleepy, make it a point to never get on the road. It’s just not worth it.