According to research from the National Safety Council, driving at night (or in early morning hours before the sun comes up) is substantially more dangerous than driving during the day. Due to a number of factors related to driver vision—color recognition, depth perception, temporary blindness caused by oncoming headlights, and peripheral acuity—this risk goes largely undiscussed and unconsidered among drivers. Stay safe when driving at night by using the following nighttime driving safety tips.
Account for the Decreased Visibility
One of the best ways to increase nighttime driving safety is to ensure you are accounting for the decreased visibility. Remember that the posted speed limit is meant to reflect the highest legal limit under ideal conditions; at night, you should never “out-drive” your headlights. Most headlights illuminate about 500 feet on high and 250 feet on low and it takes about 268 feet to stop when driving at 50 miles per hour. This should be your maximum speed on any road when driving at night.
Nighttime driving can cause an increased level of fatigue. In turn, this can increase your reaction times and make you more prone to common fatigue-related driving mistakes. As such, you should always avoid driving when you are tired, even more so at night.
Other Safety Tips for Nighttime Driving
In addition to always being well-rested and accounting for the decreased visibility, there are other safety practices that drivers can use when driving at night, including:
- Aiming headlights correctly;
- Avoiding unnecessary distractions (including cell phones, radio, and talking to other passengers);
- Dimming the lights on your dashboard;
- Cleaning your windshield frequently (inside and out) to reduce glaring and streaks;
- Keeping headlights clean;
- Looking away from oncoming lights; and
- Wearing anti-reflective corrective lenses, if needed.
Also, keep in mind that, as you age, your ability to see at night will continue to decrease. Visual problems like glaucoma and cataracts can further impede safe night driving. Be honest about your changing vision and, if necessary, limit your driving to daytime hours.
Involved in an Accident? Seek Experienced Legal Counsel
Automobile accidents are one of the most commonly experienced life-altering events faced by drivers today. In fact, polls indicate that most drivers will experience at least one in their lifetime. If this has happened to you or to someone you love, and there were resulting injuries or a wrongful death, the skilled and experienced Appleton car accident attorneys and Green Bay car accident attorneys can help you seek fair compensation. Call our offices today at 920-739-7366 and schedule a free initial consultation to learn more.