Do you avoid driving at night? If so, you’re one among many people who find night driving to be nerve-wracking.
During the day, obstacles in the road, pedestrians at crosswalks, and deer and raccoons at the edge of the woods are easy to see and avoid. At night, however, these obstacles often seem to come out of nowhere. Some drivers also notice that it’s difficult to see the road once street lamps are non-existent and bright lights from oncoming cars distract and dazzle your eyes.
For seniors, night driving poses specific challenges. This is generally because the lens and cornea of the eye become less clear as people get older. Glare is increased, and the contrast between lights and colors may be reduced as well.
Tackling the Challenges of Seeing at Night.
It’s important to remember that driving at night is indeed different than driving in the day. The National Safety Council states that accidents are three times more likely to occur at night, as opposed to in the day.
To tackle the challenges of seeing at night while driving, we recommend the following.
Take it slow
The best thing you can do to avoid a collision at night? Lower your speed.
Even driving at exactly the maximum speed limit at night may be too fast. This is because instead of seeing everything in your field of vision as you do in the daytime, at night, you’re usually only seeing what’s in the lit up area that your headlights can reveal the darkness.
In order to give yourself more time to slow down or stop if you need to, it’s best to slow down at least 6 to 8 miles per hour.
Never Drive Tired
Make it a point never to drive when you’re tired. Approximately 37% of people at the wheel have fallen asleep while driving says the National Sleep Foundation. 4% of those individuals who fell asleep while driving caused the collision on the road.
It’s never worth it to be overly tired while driving, and this is especially true at night when driving is more dangerous anyway. Even if you think you can make it, it’s a better idea to stop and get some rest or have someone else pick you up and drive you to your final destination.
Have Your Vehicle Serviced and Cleaned Regularly
Car trouble at night is much worse than car trouble in the daytime. If you need to stop by the side of the road because your car has a problem, this can be dangerous in and of itself. It’s often difficult for people to see you when you’re pulled over in the dark.
For this reason and to ensure that your headlights are functional and clean, your windshield wipers work properly, and your vehicle is in good working order overall, you should you’re your car serviced by professionals at least once per year.
Stay Off the Road at Night if You Can
Lastly, if driving at night truly frightens you, aim to stay off the roads completely after sunset.
For many people, this is impossible, and in this case, you’ll simply need to do your best to improve your night driving and vision skills with the other tips we’ve provided. However, if you can avoid driving at night, this is a good idea — not only to prevent dealing with your own vision challenges in the dark but also to prevent possible collisions with other drivers who may be tired or impaired.
Driving at night is always dangerous, but you can do a lot on your own to improve your safety.