According to the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving at night is the most dangerous time to drive due to increased risks of car accidents. Specifically, Saturday night after midnight is when driving can get the most dangerous. If you have to drive at night and often, then you should brush up on some basic safety tips to keep your chances of getting into a crash as low as possible.
7 night driving safety tips every driver should know are:
- Prepare your vehicle: The condition of your vehicle makes a difference when it comes to safe driving, especially at night. Dim your dashboard so you aren’t distracted by its lights. Your car probably does this for you already, but there should be a manual knob to dim it more if you want. Clean your windshield if it is cloudy or dirty. Also, check that your headlights are working well before you depart.
- Take care of your eyes: If you wear glasses while driving, then get a pair that is nonreflective, so you don’t get double-blinded by incoming headlights. If you are worried that your vision is not as good as it used to be, then you should schedule an eye exam. Driving in the dark with worsened vision is simply not safe.
- Be careful with high beams: Speaking of taking care of peoples’ eyes, don’t use your high beams without knowing that you won’t blind an oncoming driver first. High beams should be used when you are in a darkly lit area and can hardly see the environment around your car. They should be shut off when an opposing or following car is within 500 or so feet of you.
- Never drive while fatigued: The NSC has reviewed studies that show more than 1/3 of adult drivers in the country have fallen asleep while driving at least once. About 10% of those people have caused a wreck because of it. Fatigued driving is completely preventable, though. Just don’t do it. If you are too tired to keep your eyes open, then delay your drive. Look for a motel or well-lit rest area if you need to catch some shuteye until it is safe to drive again.
- Plan your route: Knowing your route before you head out for a night drive can help you stick to it and avoid trouble. The NHTSA recommends that you don’t drive along two-lane highways with opposing traffic at night. Along these roads, oncoming headlights are more likely to blind you, and a fatigued driver is more likely to stray into your vehicle.
- Slow your roll: The speed limit along any road isn’t technically what’s posted, it is whatever is safe for the conditions without exceeding that posted speed limit. If you’re driving in the dark of night and you’re having trouble keeping up with changes in the road, then slow down a little. Decreasing your speed by just 10 mph can greatly increase your reaction time.
- Expect to see Bambi: Wildlife that can cause a car accident tend to be nocturnal, like deer, coyotes, bobcats, etc. Even neighborhood strays usually roam at night when they are less likely to be bothered by humans. If an animal does enter the road, you should try to slow down safely. Swerving suddenly can just cause you to fly off the road if done incorrectly.
If you’re in a nighttime crash in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area and need legal help, Omega Law Group has your back. Our attorneys handle all sorts of tough civil injury cases for locals in need, so contact us at any time to learn more about our services.