How to drive safetly in the Dark

I Wear My Sunglasses at Night

In his 1980s mega hit, Canadian pop/rocker Corey Heart wore his sunglasses at night, propelling him to the top of the charts. Had he worn his sunglasses at night while driving, he most likely would have propelled himself into a tree.

Night driving is more of a challenge than many people think and it’s also more dangerous. Why? Ninety percent of a driver’s reaction depends on his vision, and vision is severely limited at night. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision are all compromised after sundown. Older drivers have even greater difficulties seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year old.

Another factor adding danger to night driving is fatigue. Drowsiness makes driving more difficult by dulling concentration and slowing reaction time. Auto accident death rates are three times greater at night than during the day, according to the National Safety Council. Yet many of us are unaware of night driving’s special hazards or don’t know effective ways to deal with them.

The following is a list pointers to follow when driving at night, provided to you by all of us here at CollisionMax:

• Slow down so your stopping distance is inside the range of your vehicle’s headlights.

• Dim your vehicle’s headlight beams 1,000 feet ahead of approaching vehicles. Your vehicle’s headlights reduce the other driver’s vision.

• Dim the headlights when following another car by 200 feet or less.

• Keep your headlights clean. Headlight dirt can cut light output by 75 percent. Proper headlight aim also is very important and should be checked periodically.

• Never look directly at a glaring headlight. Keep your eyes on the right edge of the road ahead of you, but at the same time, pay attention to where the oncoming vehicle is by quick glances in that direction.

• Greatly reduce your speed when confronted with oncoming headlights that are not dimmed. Maintain your reduced speed until your eyes are recovered from the glare.

• Go slow on curves. Remember that your car will not automatically follow the direction of the curve.

• Avoid using light of any kind in your car while driving.

• Don’t drive if you’re tired. Fatigue reduces your ability to see clearly, and you may even fall asleep, putting yourself and others in danger of an auto accident or collision.

• Obey the speed limit. Remember that the speed limit is 65 mph only on rural interstates. On state routes and other federal highways the speed limit is still 55 mph.

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