Are you a driver who’s nervous to drive after dark? Many drivers feel less confident driving once the sun goes down, with some reports indicating that a driver is three times more likely to be in a collision after dark. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure that you drive safely after dark.
- Make good use of your high beams
The headlights on your car have several different modes for you to utilize when driving at night. As a best practice, don’t automatically put your high beams on when driving at night. The glare of the high beams could be harmful to drivers who are going the opposite direction, and could impair your driving even more in certain weather conditions. Using high beams when it’s raining or snowing will reflect the light back on the driver, causing even less visibility and putting you at risk for accidents. It’s best to use your high beams when driving at night on roads that don’t have a lot of light. This helps you navigate, and also alerts other drivers that there’s a car on the road.
- Keep a larger distance between you and other vehicles
If your driving at night, it can be challenging to gauge distances the same way you do during the day. Even if you’re driving through dense traffic, try to keep a significant distance between your car and other vehicles on the road. If you’re driving on side roads or country roads, this is even more important. Pay close attention, and keep an eye out for other vehicles, especially on roads that have lots of twists and turns.
- Stay focused
Things like potholes, vehicles that are pulled over, animals, and collisions are always harder to see at night, and any of these things could cause you to get into an automobile accident. Don’t lose your focus on the road, and make sure that you are periodically scanning your surroundings to make sure that it’s safe to keep driving.
- Slow down
Remember that there are other drivers on the road who experience difficulty while driving at night, and they may not react quickly enough while driving. As a general best practice, slow down while driving at night and proceed cautiously so that you can react more quickly if necessary.
- Be aware of driver’s fatigue
Drivers often nod off at the wheel before they even realize it. According to Canada Drives, “A recent poll conducted shows that 60 per cent of adults have driven while feeling tired.” Falling asleep for even a few minutes at the wheel can dramatically increase your risk for an accident. If you find that your eyes are closing while you drive, pull over and take a rest.
Whether you’re getting on the highway before sunrise or planning a long drive, it’s extremely important that you stay alert, keep your distance and pay attention to your fatigue level to reduce your risk of an accident while driving at night. If you frequently drive at night, make sure that you have broad insurance coverage and check your policy to make sure that you have all your bases covered.