Shedding Light on Night Driving
By Gary Stern
Night driving poses some special challenges and surprises. In fact, according to the National Safety Council (NSC), night driving accounts for three times as many traffic-related deaths as driving during the day. Recognizing hazards specific to night driving can help keep you and others safe. Here are some important night driving tips.
Get plenty of rest.
Some studies estimate that 15 to 33 percent of fatal crashes involve drowsy drivers. With drowsy-driving accidents, fatalities and injuries are more likely to occur than in crashes where the driver is alert. If you’re tired, try to find a place to safely stop and get some rest.
Time to react.
Drivers should provide at least three seconds of leeway for cars in front of them at night—and more during inclement weather. You should also scan the road ahead for potential danger. In neighborhoods, bicyclists or children might run into the road, and on the highway, cars in front of you can make sudden stops.
Research shows that a 16-to-19 year-old being involved in a fatal crash is four times higher at night than during the day. Young, inexperienced drivers often lack the savvy to deal with difficult situations. Educate your teen driver about driving safely at night.
When faced with another vehicle’s high beams, keep your eyes on the right edge of the road to guide you. Adjust your rearview mirror to avoid the glare from high beams from the vehicles behind you. And don’t use high beams with oncoming traffic or when behind another vehicle.
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