For some drivers who have to commute to work or who get stuck in traffic a lot, they may prefer to drive at night when there are fewer cars on the road and when things have slowed down, but is it actually safer to do so? As it turns out, night driving is not safer; it’s actually the most dangerous time for people to drive.
Why is it more dangerous to drive at night? There are multiple reasons including fatigued drivers, poor night vision, road hazards that are masked by the dark, drunk and drugged drivers, etc. All of these risks are even greater as it becomes the weekend, with fatal crashes reaching their peak on Saturday evening, the National Safety Council reports.
Combatting the Darkness
Even when you turn on your high-beams, you still may only be able to see for about 500 feet in front of you (only about 250 feet if you’re using your normal headlights). What does reduced visibility mean? It means you have less time to react to road hazards or other dangers, especially when you’re driving on a highway and at a higher speed.
What should you do to reduce a crash at night?
- Make sure your headlights are clean
- Dim the lights on your dashboard
- If the headlights from other vehicles are shining in your eyes, look away
- If you have to wear prescription glasses, wear ones that are anti-reflective
- Keep your windshield clean
- Eliminate streaks on your windshield after cleaning it
- Drive slower because of limited or reduced visibility
“Night vision is the ability to see well in low-light conditions. As we age, we have greater difficulty seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old. At age 60 and older, driving can become even more difficult, according to the American Optometric Association. Some older drivers also may have compromised vision due to cataracts and degenerative eye diseases,” states the National Safety Council.