Daylight Saving Time is here and driving after dark will once again become more and more common in our daily lives. According to the National Safety Council, the risk of a fatal crash is three times greater while driving at night; and while you can’t fully control the safety of yourself and everyone around you when on the road, you can follow these important night time driving tips to help reduce your risk on the road.
- Check your headlights. Before you get going, check your headlights and make sure they are providing the optimum amount of light for the road in front of you. If you feel like they aren’t, have your lights checked by a mechanic to make sure they are adjusted properly so they can perform correctly.
- Check your fog lights. Just like the name implies, fog lights will help the driver see the road rather than just lighting up all the fog in front of you. This can be vital if you’re on a dark and foggy road; and because they spread wider than a typical headlight low beam, they can also help you see farther beyond the shoulder of the road.
- Don’t stare at oncoming lights. If you’re concentrating on driving on a dark road with only your headlights and dimly lit dashboard, it can be very distracting when a set of headlights show up in front of you. Turn your gaze away from the lights on the road and don’t look at the beams. Same goes for bright lights glaring in your rear view mirror. Move your rear view mirror to deflect the light away from your eyes.
- Reduce your speed. This may sound obvious, but slowing down at night will decrease your chances of getting in a collision. It can be difficult to see what’s ahead of you at night, so just a few miles per hour less can give you enough time to avoid an unexpected object in front of you.
- Watch for eyes. Animals are everywhere. Especially in Wisconsin and especially at night! You can often see an animal’s eyes by the reflections from your headlights well before you see the actual animal. Watch for pairs of moving eyes on and around the road and if you do see them, slow down as quickly as possible in case they are moving out in front of your vehicle.
- Go to the eye doctor. Our ability to see at night can vary. While many of us are aware of this and wear contacts or glasses, many remain oblivious to their sight impairments. If you feel you are continuously having trouble driving at night, see an eye doctor immediately; your optometrist can help provide you with the correct prescription of lenses to get you safely back on the road.
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