February 2008 Safety Tip

Night Driving

Deaths due to vehicle collisions take place three times more often in night-driving situations. So pay special attention while driving in the late afternoon, early evening, and early morning hours, times when many of us commute to and from home. When driving long distances, particularly at night, stay alert by turning on the radio or stopping every hour or two to stretch, drink coffee, or eat a light snack. If you feel drowsy, pull over to a well-lit public area and take a break or short nap.

Some of the dangers associated with night driving are:

  • visibility may be reduced.
  • Peripheral vision is not as sharp.
  • Darkness impairs your ability to judge distances, movements, and colors.
  • Early morning and late afternoon are prime times for drowsiness.

Use the following precautions to prevent yourself from becoming a statistic:

  • use the visors in the vehicle and wear sunglasses to fight glare at sunrise and sunset. Donít wear your sunglasses when driving in low light conditions.
  • Turn on your headlights at twilight (better yet, drive with them at all hours to be more visible).
  • give your eyes a few extra minutes to adjust to the darkness before driving at night.
  • Slow down and leave more distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you (minimum of 300 feet is recommended).
  • donít look directly at the lights of an approaching vehicle, instead look forward and slightly to the right. The bold shoulder stripe is a good guide.
  • Change the rearview mirror to the night position to minimize glare from vehicles behind you.