Is it safe to go out at night? Statistics and tips for driving in low-light hours

Is it safe to go out at night? Statistics and tips for driving in low-light hours

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “is it safe to drive at night?” Or maybe someone else has asked you a similar question, and you didn’t know how to answer. These concerns about night time driving and accidents are warranted. Did you know that, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatal driving accidents are three times more likely to occur at night when compared to daytime?

Even with the best and brightest headlights available today, we can’t see that well in the dark, but low visibility isn’t the only reason accidents are more common at night. Speeding is more of an issue at night because roads are typically less congested, drivers are more likely to be potentially impaired or intoxicated, and drivers may be fatigued or tired, especially if they’ve spent most of their day behind the wheel or at work in a demanding job.

All these things considered, you might think that the answer to the question “is it safe to drive at night?” is a flat-out “no,” but that isn’t necessarily true. If you have a good understanding of night driving safety and follow these tips for driving at night, you can help keep yourself and other drivers safer on the road. You can help reduce the risks of a night time accident and possible injuries.

Tips for nighttime driving

Defensive driving

One of the best tips for driving at night we can give you is to be prepared for the hazards you may encounter. The term “defensive driving” means doing what you can to anticipate dangerous situations, adverse road or weather conditions, wildlife, pedestrians, and aggressive drivers and preparing yourself for what to do should you encounter them. It may take a while to hone your defensive driving skills to the point where they become more instinctual, but this effort will be well worth it in protecting yourself and others on the road at night.

Keep your windshield clean

If you’re wondering, “is it safe to drive at night?” the first thing you should do is check the condition of your windshield. You already have low visibility when driving at night, so why would you impair your vision even more with a dirty, snow covered or damaged windshield? Keeping your windshield clear isn’t just one of the best tips for driving at night, it’s one of the best tips for driving safely, period.

Combat fatigue

This goes without saying, but you should never get behind the wheel if you’re feeling drowsy, no matter what time of day it is. However, you’re much more likely to be feeling tired at night and in the early morning. If you need to drive during these times, be sure to combat any fatigue you may be feeling with a good night’s sleep, caffeine, or anything else that might help keep you awake. Hopefully, this is one of the more obvious tips for driving at night, but it’s still important to mention.

Slow down

According to the NHTSA, speeding causes only 21% of driving-related fatalities during the day, and that percentage jumps up to 37% at night. Much of this can be attributed to the lower visibility, which, in turn, means drivers have shorter reaction times. If you’re wondering, “is it safe to drive at night?” your speed and awareness of other motorist driving speeds is definitely something you need to consider.

Keep lights on and use them correctly

When it comes to night driving safety, your lights are the most useful tool you have at your disposal. Obviously, you should have your lights on at all times when driving at night, but this doesn’t mean you should keep them on the highest, brightest setting at all times. While headlights on their brightest setting are useful in rural settings and on long open roads, they can blind other drivers. Just remember to dim your headlights when approaching another vehicle or pedestrians, and never use them if you’re following behind another car.
These are just a few things to consider when driving at night to help increase safety and avoid the heightened risk of a crash or injury.

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