Thanks to Daylight Savings we are able to enjoy more of the sun earlier on in the day. Also thanks to Daylight Savings, our drive home after work during the winter months tends to be in the dark. Accident-related death rates are 3 times greater at night, and as such, it is important to understand why driving at night is more dangerous, and to adhere to these simple safety tips.
The lack of sunlight makes it more difficult to see other drivers (especially motorcyclists), pedestrians and cyclists, and animals. It also becomes increasingly difficult to gauge the distance between yourself and other objects. When driving at night be sure to slow down to allow more space between yourself and the cars around you, and watch for pedestrians.
In many areas, construction activity is heaviest at night in order to avoid additional rush hour traffic; however, it adds another obstacle for nighttime driving. With the increased construction to repair damage from the flooding, and the complete overhaul of Colorado Highways, it is imperative to watch for upcoming construction zones and to expect to stop or drive slowly through them.
While it may not technically be “nighttime”, driving at dusk can be just as dangerous. With the glare of the sun, visibility can become even more decreased. Be sure to slow down and watch for cyclists, pedestrians, and construction workers directing traffic. To help other drivers see your car more easily, turn on your headlights about one hour before dusk.
Additional Night Driving Safety Tips
- Always check your headlights, break lights, and signal lights before driving.
- Be aware of when you’re using your high beams, and turn them down to avoid blinding other drivers.
- Have your headlights properly aimed, as misaimed headlights can blind other drivers.
- Slow down and increase your following distance.
- When passing other vehicles, focus on the white lines on the right side of the road to avoid being blinded and drawn into the centerline.
- Avoid glare in your rear view mirror by using the day-night feature.
- Clean your windshield every time you fill up on gasoline. This will help reduce the streaks and glare on your windshield.
- Ensure that your windshield wipers are in good working order, and that your car has plenty of washer fluid.
- Avoid smoking while driving at night. Smoking while driving not only adds a distraction, the nicotine in cigarettes actually reduces night vision.
- Always watch for pedestrians.
Pedestrian Night Safety Tips
As a pedestrian walking at night, you will need to take extra precautions, as drivers may not be able to see clearly.
- Walk in a group, as it will be easier for drivers to see multiple people.
- Attach reflective tape to backpacks and other bags.
- Watch for turning vehicles, and make sure to give yourself plenty of time to cross the crosswalk.
- As much as possible, walk on paths and sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk available, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Only cross the street at a cross walk, and do not assume that a driver will stop.
- BE PREDICTABLE. Obey signs and signals, and follow the rules of the road.
If your or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Bendinelli Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation today. We’ll help you get the help you need.