It’s that time of year again — when we turn back our clocks and lose an hour of precious daylight. With the end of daylight savings time, traffic and accidents increase at evening rush hour due to the lack of visibility. Don’t fall back on road safety! Read on and practice these cautionary tips for night time driving.
Slow It Down
This may be an obvious tip, but it’s extremely important to drive slower than you normally would once daylight savings ends. Your reaction time may not be as quick in low visibility. Maintain a greater-than-normal distance from the car in front of you so you have enough space if you have to stop unexpectedly.
Remove Any Distractions
According to the National Safety Council, vehicle death rates are three times higher at night than during the day. Distracted driving is a huge risk for drivers and should be avoided at all costs, especially texting. Other distractions include talking on your phone, playing with the radio and eating while driving. It’s also a good idea to keep your music volume low to stay focused on the road.
Dim Your Dashboard Lights
The lights in your car can cause glare on your windshield, Windshields and rear windows at night time can strain your eyes. This strain could obstruct or affect your view while driving and lead to a close call if you can’t see any hazards that are ahead. Dim your dashboard and interior lights to prevent distractions and glares.
Inspect Your Headlights and Windshield Wipers
Your depth perception, ability to distinguish color and peripheral vision are all challenged in low-light conditions. Your headlights will improve your odds of seeing clearly if they are properly aligned and clean. According to Popular Mechanics, proper headlight aim is crucial to your safety while driving at night. Adjust your headlights properly and clean them up before your next nighttime ride.
Turn your headlights on one hour before dusk and at all times when it’s a drizzly or rainy day. Be extra careful when using your high beams. They should be turned off when there is oncoming traffic or you are driving behind someone so you don’t blind their view.
Lastly, you should make sure your windshield wipers are clean and in good condition so they won’t leave distracting marks when they are in use.
Don’t Drive If You’re Drowsy
Eye fatigue is a serious sign. Address it immediately by pulling over at a safe rest stop. A short walk for fresh air or a caffeinated beverage can help you get a jolt of energy before you continue your journey. If you’re tired before hopping in your car, consider changing your plans and waiting to drive after you get some rest. It’s hard enough seeing at night with well-rested eyes.
Even if you take the proper safety precautions — accidents happen, especially at night. Protect yourself and your vehicle with the best auto insurance. Give us a call at (800) 333-7234 or contact us on our website for more information.