Winter is officially upon us. Snow and ice make winter travels risky, but the most dangerous part of the season may be the prolonged time spent driving in the dark. Although only 25 percent of all driving takes place at night, more than half of driving deaths occur when it's dark outside. These seven tips can help shed some light on the safest ways to drive at night.
Your mom may have taught you not to stare as a kid, but it could also help you during a nighttime road trip. Try never to stare directly into the oncoming headlights from other vehicles. Driving for long periods of time at night takes some serious focus, and extremely bright lights, like headlights, have been shown to disrupt concentration.
Try to avoid twilight—and we aren't talking about the vampire saga. Twilight occurs from dawn until sunrise and sunset until dusk each day, and it's an extremely dangerous time to drive. Not only are drivers typically fatigued during this time, but your eyes are constantly trying to adjust to the changing light, which takes a toll on vision.
When it's dark outside the streaks on your windshield are much more prominent and can decrease visibility. Keep a cotton or microfiber cloth in your car for windshield touch-ups on the go. Newspaper can also help remove your windshield's streaks and smudges.
At night, if an oncoming driver does not turn off their high beams, look toward the white line on the right edge of the road to avoid glare.
Knowing how to interact with deer on the road is especially crucial in Pennsylvania, where 1 out of every 71 drivers will likely hit a deer in the next 12 months. Don't try to steer around deer if driving towards one on the roadway at night. They follow lights and may just move in front of your vehicle. Break gradually, and stop and wait for the animal to leave the road before continuing on your way.
The interior map lights in most cars are not focused and cast light throughout the vehicle. When it's dark outside, glare from these internal lights can compromise your vision and make driving difficult. Drivers should politely ask passengers not to use them if possible.
Dirty headlights can't shine as brightly if the light is blocked by dirt and road grime. Older cars' headlights are also at risk to yellow and fade over the years. To really brighten up those bulbs, consider trying out a headlight polish kit.
If driving in the dark makes you nervous, you're not alone—53% of drivers admit feeling uncomfortable during dark drives. But, learning to navigate a vehicle in less-than-perfect conditions, like at night, takes practice. This winter season, work to overcome any anxiety you may have about driving in the dark, and let these useful tips help you own the night.
Car accidents cause fear and uncertainty, especially when they happen at night. Calling a lawyer might be the last thing on your mind, but evidence disappears quickly. That's why we make it easy to contact us – our phones answer 24/7 and you can always fill out a legal consultation online.