It’s the time of year when days grow shorter and nights are longer. It’s also a time of year when more traffic is on the roadway due to Fall fun like football games, Halloween trick or treating, and festivals celebrating all matter of things in the South.
With increased nighttime hours, it is also a time when driving can become more dangerous. Here are some tips for driving safe in the dark:
It might sound simple, but the best tip for driving at night is making sure that your headlights are turned on. Many vehicle models have automatic switches that turn lights on but human error happens. Automatic switches for lights are inadvertently turned off. Before you drive, make certain your headlights are turned on and that you know where the high beam switch is so you can use it to light up the darkest roadways.
Darkness makes it harder to see so slow down. Driving at a slower speed gives you more time to respond to what enters your path. At night, your reaction time is already slower than what it would be in daylight, so reduced speed to make up for your slowed reaction time.
Street signs are generally reflective to make easier to read when headlights shine on them, but even with this reflective treatment, be aware that signs for streets and directions are harder to see at night. Pay special attention to signs and road markers, especially in areas you do not know.
You might need to use your high beams in a really dark area. If you do, make sure you turn the high beams back to regular beams as soon as possible or if another vehicle is approaching you. Your high beams could temporarily blind other drivers if you don’t switch them off in time.
Animals prowl at night. While driving at night be on the lookout for animals that may wander into the road. Raccoons, possums, and deer are out at night and very early in the morning too.
The evening is when many people go out and enjoy a drink. Be aware that there are motorists that still drink and drive or use drugs that make them a danger. Percentages of people driving under the influence increase at night. Alert drivers can help avoid accidents caused by a driver that is using drugs or alcohol.
Distracted driving is using a cell phone, playing with radio stations, or digging in your console for something. It is dangerous at any time but especially at night. Put away anything that causes you to not concentrate on driving or enlist the help of a passenger for anything that would take your eye off the road.
Drowsy driving is dangerous. The National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America poll showed that nearly 60% of Americans have driven while feeling sleepy and 37% admit to actually having fallen asleep at the wheel. Be self-aware and aware of those around you.
Practice these tips for safer driving at night. If you’re involved car or truck wreck because another driver was negligent and didn’t practice safe driving practices, contact the personal injury attorneys at N. Craig Richardson. They are the local experts at personal injury recovery in Lake Charles, LA.