Driving slower at night helps you be more aware of your surroundings. Since your visibility is naturally lower at night, driving a little slower gives you more time to react to potential accident-causing situations. It's also helpful if you're on a back road or in a less developed area where animals may jump in front of your vehicle.
Top tips for driving safely at night
Like other dangerous driving situations, such as driving in rain, fog, or snow, you should pay special attention to your surroundings. Below are some top nighttime driving tips:
- Be aware of your surroundings- Your visibility when driving at night is impaired. This means you need to be 3x more vigilant than during the day. Watch out for distracted or tired drivers, and avoid unnecessary distractions like texting or talking on the phone.
- Check your high beams and headlights often- Working headlights and high beams are imperative for driving safely at night. If you can't see what you're doing, you're in a dangerous situation.
- Drive slower- Since visibility is less at night, driving slower allows you more reaction time to possible issues or potential accidents. It's also beneficial for when you're driving on back or unfamiliar roads. You'll be able to see any warning signs or animals better.
- Watch out for animals- When driving on back roads or in less developed areas, scan ahead for wild animals. Deer are notorious for leaping out in front of vehicles when trying to cross the road. This is not only dangerous for the animal but extremely dangerous for you as well.
- Watch out for nighttime fatigue- Driving at night for long periods, or after a long workday may cause fatigue. The last thing you want is to be falling asleep while driving. If you feel drowsy, pull over to a safe place on the side of the road, crack your window to allow some fresh air, and take a break while you wake yourself up. Don't put yourself or others in danger.
How is driving at night different from the day?
You may be thinking, driving is driving, right? Below we cover some key differences between driving during the day versus at night.
- Your visibility is less. Naturally, at night, you can't see as well during the day.
- You're less likely to be tired during the day when driving.
- Driving at a normal pace is fine during the day, but at night, you should decrease your speed to make up for the visibility you lose.
Don't drive tired
If you're feeling tired, stop. Being overly tired is one of the top causes of nighttime accidents.
How to avoid drowsy driving:
- Get plenty of rest at night
- Don't drink before driving
- Limit driving between midnight and 6 am
If you're feeling drowsy while driving:
- Take a short (15-20 min) nap with your vehicle turned off, and your emergency lights on
- Consume some caffeine/grab some gas station coffee
- Open your window to allow some fresh air in
Will my insurance cover me if I crash at night?
Sadly, crashes happen. If you're ever in such a situation, you'll want to be confident that your insurance covers damages to property and people. Make sure your insurance is up to date and has good, reliable coverages.
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