Driving at night poses challenges that are not present during the day. For example, drivers may succumb to the effects of fatigue, resulting in serious a serious car accident with resulting injuries. Drivers and passengers often neglect basic safety tips when driving at night. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seatbelts are not used in 64% of night-time crashes. Observing basic safety standards and following these tips for safe driving at night can help you avoid collisions.
Be on the Alert for Fatigue
Crashes caused by fatigued driving increase between 12:00 AM and 6:00 AM. The NHTSA calls driving during this time period a high-risk situation. If driving at night is unavoidable, then drivers should take the necessary steps to stay awake and focused. Take periodic breaks to get out of the car, stretch your legs and have a snack. Also, pull over if you notice yourself getting drowsy and do not resume driving until you have become more alert.
Clean Your Windshield
While your windshield may look clean during the day, you should take a few minutes to clean it before leaving at night. Streaks on your windshield can cause a glare, making it difficult to see obstacles on the road. Also, clear out any grime and dust from your side mirrors. This will help prevent you from becoming distracted by the glare of headlights from the vehicles behind you.
Dim Dashboard Lights
Bright dashboard lights can distract drivers and take their attention away from the road. Dim the dashboard lights before driving at night to allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness and improve night-time visibility.
Look Away From Headlights
Do everything you can to avoid looking directly at another vehicle’s headlights. Doing so can temporarily impair your vision and put you in danger. When another car is approaching you, look slightly down and to the right to avoid the glare of any headlights.
Use Headlights Properly
Consider the angle of your headlights before beginning a night-time drive. Having your headlights angled too high may cause them to blind other drivers, increasing your risk for a head-on collision. Most mechanics are able to check and adjust headlights within a matter of minutes.
Additionally, ensure that your headlights are clean before you begin driving. Even a thin film of dust can cause your lights to become dull, limiting your visibility. If your vehicle has plastic lens covers, then have them checked. They could potentially become faded or turn yellow, resulting in a haze over the light.
Many drivers avoid using their high beams so they do not distract or blind other drivers on the road. However, on back roads or empty highways, high beams can help you avoid wildlife and other obstacles. Make sure to dim them when there is an oncoming vehicle within 500 feet of you.
Our New Jersey Auto Accident Lawyers Offer a Free Consultation
No matter how careful you are while driving at night, you cannot control another driver’s actions. His or her distracted driving or fatigue can leave you the victim of a serious car crash. If you are involved in an accident while driving at night, then call our Vineland office at (856) 692-6500 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation. We can help you pursue the financial compensation that you deserve.