There are good reasons why many people don’t like driving at night. It’s at a time when most people prefer to be relaxing at home or sleeping. Our circadian rhythm or “body clock” programs us to feel tired and sleepy well after the sun sets. In addition, there’s no ambient lighting other than the lights of street lamps, buildings, and other cars. This makes the driving more difficult, which is why many people opt for daylight driving when they have the choice.
Because of our built-in need for sleep, our poor night vision, and the social consumption of alcohol at night, night driving is inherently dangerous. To counter the increased risks of night driving, motorists must drive with greater focus and care. Drive more safely after dark with these four tips:
Drive Well Rested
Don’t attempt driving late at night if you didn’t get 7 or 8 hours of sleep the previous night. Coffee isn’t enough to counter sleep deprivation. In addition, take a nap before starting long night drives. There are no remedies to drowsiness other than rest and sleep.
Keep the inside and outside surfaces of your windshield clean. Dirt, grime, and smudges increase headlight glare. Streaking windshield wipers also produce glare. Replace wipers after 6 to 12 months of use or sooner if they start streaking. Bright dashboard lights are another source of glare. Use a dimmer setting to reduce this problem.
If you wear glasses, keep them clean because like your windshield, they produce glare when dirty. Finally, avoid looking at the headlights of oncoming cars. Look toward the right edge of the road when passing by them.
Check and Adjust Your Lights
Clean your headlights and tail lights. Have a car mechanic properly aim your headlamps. Headlights pointing off to the side, too high, or too low reduce your view of the road. Dirt also drastically reduces the brightness of your lights.
Avoid Driving During Social Hours
The roads during Friday and Saturday nights and during certain times of celebration such as New Year’s Eve, are filled with social drinkers driving back home while under the influence of alcohol. The worst hours are between 1 AM and 3 AM when bars close.
These tips will reduce your risk of a night driving accident. However, don’t hesitate to seek the legal advice of an experienced accident attorney if in spite of your careful driving, a reckless, negligent, or intoxicated motorist injures you in an accident. Contact us at The Clardy Law Firm for a no-cost consultation.