Late-night driving: safety tips you need to know
Late-night driving is oftentimes riskier than driving in the daytime due to increased road hazards, poor visibility, and driver fatigue and performance. It’s a paramount concern of the authorities to warn motorists about the danger of road trips, especially at nighttime. The flashing light from oncoming traffic is usually the trouble seeing clearly at night. Records show the chances of a deadly accident are three times greater compared to daylight.
In India, about 60% of road accidents happened after dark due to driver fatigue and low road visibility. In South Korea, almost 54% of fatal accidents occurred at night for the same reasons. In the Philippines, the Metro Manila Accident Reporting and Analysis System (MMARAS) revealed that between 1 am and 4 am is the most crucial and dangerous driving period in the metropolis. It showed in 2020 that 34% of deadly road accidents are accounted for before sunrise.
True, drivers can’t see well at the night. Accordingly, “they see less of the road ahead and have less room and time to stop.” Glare effects from much bright light can further aggravate the situation. Below are some tips that can help improve the late-night driving experience and lessen the hazards during a long trip.
- Be defensive when driving at night. Drinking and driving is the biggest danger on the road after sunset. Based on the study, the percentage of deadly crashes involving alcohol intoxication is about four times higher at the night compared to daylight. For the safety of all road users, driving under the influence of liquor is not only dangerous but legally prohibited as well. Stay diligent at night to see crossing pedestrians, animals, and most importantly the road signs.
- Don’t drive when fatigued. Car crashes due to drowsy driving usually take place after midnight. Sleepy drivers shouldn’t take the road in haste. Prudence dictates that they need to pull over at a safe spot to rest or allow the night to pass before resuming the drive.
- Clean up windshields and headlights. Damaged windshields can potentially impact the effects of glare from oncoming traffic lights. Aim your headlights correctly and clean them with a solution frequently. Dirty rear mirrors can likewise decrease road visibility. Clean and wipe them up regularly to ensure a safer trip at nighttime.
- Slow down during night driving. To compensate for poor visibility, slow down but reduced stopping time. Adjust speed when driving through the night due to low visibility and other road hazards.
- Avoid two-lane highways. Based on the authorities, two-land highways may be a “worst-case scenario,” aside from too much glare from oncoming traffics, sharp curves and hilly paths, and lower overall light can increase road hazards. If possible, take a safer route when it’s much more convenient and safer for the driver and passenger.
- Use high beams when necessary. They are helpful in rural traveling to allow good visibility ahead but crank it down whenever a vehicle is approaching to prevent a sudden blind, and don’t employ the beams when following another vehicle. There is an automatic lighting system that appropriately adjusts your beams with the oncoming traffics, and there are safer for late-night driving.
- Be ready for any emergency at the night. Use quality reflectors at night. When any car is in trouble, get to a safe spot and call emergency for help. Should you need to pull over on the shoulder, use your hazards to increase your visibility to other motorists and wear your reflector’s vest while waiting for roadside assistance.
- If possible, avoid driving at night if you have impaired vision. Driving in the dark is difficult when you’ve got night blindness (nyctalopia) like when you have astigmatism (presbyopia) or short-sightedness (myopia). These conditions can pose serious a risk especially as they limit the visual capabilities of the driver but these vision problems can be treated through eyewear or medication. Have your vision checked regularly; wear your glasses while driving since they can aid night blindness.
Faster speed is not for the darker road. Driving in the dark is usually accompanied by higher risks and challenges. Driving in the dark is always more dangerous. The major causes of road accidents at the night are low visibility, driver’s performance, and impaired driving due to narcotics and alcohol intake. Though there’re fewer drivers at the night, statistics showed that 48% of traffic deaths happen at night. By taking some necessary precautions, we can contribute to lowering or avoiding road crashes. And following all the tips can give you a peaceful experience and an enjoyable nighttime drive. As the saying goes staying alert is staying alive.
For more driving tips visit the Automart.PH blog.