According to the National Safety Council, traffic deaths are three times greater during the nighttime than they are during the day. Not only is the risk of being involved in a car accident after dark higher, but driving during the night is often more difficult because of poor visibility. To help keep you safe no matter what time of day you’re driving, refer to this guide for tips for safe driving at night to avoid auto accidents.
Make Sure Your Car is Night-Driving Ready
Keeping your car in tip-top shop is always of the utmost importance. But when you plan to be driving at night, you especially don’t want to get behind the wheel of a vehicle that’s potentially dangerous.
To ensure that your car is ready for the road, perform these checks.
- Make sure your headlights are clean and working appropriately
- Wipe down your windshield and check your wiper fluid levels
- Double-check that taillights and brake lights are working properly
Furthermore, you should also have your headlights checked to make sure that they’re correctly positioned and aimed.
Commit to Driving Sober
Drinking and driving accidents kill hundreds of people in Philadelphia and elsewhere every year. And the most common time of the day to drive drunk is after the sun has set. Make a commitment to yourself that you’ll never get behind the wheel while intoxicated or otherwise impaired.
Even if you’re not drunk, remember that alcohol is a depressant, and can make you feel fatigued. Driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk.
Give Yourself More Time to Get to Your Destination
Speeding, passing cars, and rushing your trip can be tempting. However, one of the safest things that you can do when driving at night is to reduce your speed and give yourself more time than normal to get to your destination.
Not only should you slow down, but you should also allow more room between your vehicle and others. When lighting is poor, depth and distance perception can be impaired. Therefore, the more space you allow between yourself and other vehicles, the safer.
Take Time to Rest
If you’re driving a significant distance during the nighttime hours, don’t forsake the importance of rest. As mentioned above, driving while fatigued may be just as dangerous and driving while impaired.
To ensure that you’re wide awake while on the road, try these things.
- Make frequent stops to grab a snack
- Walk around a rest stop
- Grab some shuteye at a motel
Avoid eating in the car, as doing so can be distracting – read our blog about the five worst foods to eat in the car. If you feel especially tired, don’t risk it; instead, find a place where you can sleep before resuming your trip.
Find Safe Areas for Stopping
If you need to pull over for whatever reason—to grab some rest, check a flat tire, etc.—make sure you find a safe location to do so. Try to avoid stopping on busy roads if possible – instead, look for the nearest rest area. No matter where you stop—but especially on trafficked roads—turn on your emergency flashers. These flashing lights will help other drivers be able to see you, reducing the chance of an accident occurring.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Your vehicle should have an emergency kit in it at all times, regardless of the hour you’re driving. The kit should include some basic auto repair tools, a first aid kit, extra food and water, a cell phone and charger, extra cash, and a blanket at the very least. More lists of necessary items for safe driving can be found on our car accidents blog.
Know Your Rights
Finally, as a driver, you should always know your rights if an accident does happen. Refer to your insurance policy to learn what benefits you’ll get if you are in an accident, and call the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC for more information about how to file a claim. Reach us at 215-642-2335 today.