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As We Head Into Fall and Winter, Now’s the Time to Brush Up on Night Driving Safety

The days are getting shorter, and with Daylight Savings right around the corner, they’re about to get even more so. Many people will find themselves spending more time driving in the dark during these coming months, which jeopardizes depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision. The glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can also become a huge obstacle for drivers. With the holidays coming up fast, no one wants to end up in a costly, stressful, time-consuming accident. 

Enhance Night Vision

At night visibility is limited to about 500 feet with high beams and 250 feet with normal headlights, allowing for less reaction time. 

What should you do to combat darkness?

  • Aim your headlights correctly, and make sure they’re clean
  • Dim your dashboard
  • Look away from oncoming lights
  • If you wear glasses, make sure they’re anti-reflective
  • Clean the windshield to eliminate streaks
  • Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time

As we age, we have greater difficulty seeing at night. Some individuals of the age 60+  also may have compromised vision due to eye health issues. Drivers, especially those who are older, should:

  • Have annual vision exams
  • Reduce speed
  • Take a driving course (Even experienced drivers can benefit from a refresher)
  • Minimize distractions
  • Check the side effects of prescription drugs
  • Limit driving to daytime hours if possible.

Avoid Fatigued Driving

Drowsy driving puts everyone on the road at risk. Losing two hours of sleep has the same effect on driving as having three beers, and tired drivers are three times more likely to be in a car crash if they’re fatigued. Ways to combat fatigued driving includes: 

  • Get at least seven hours of sleep 
  • Don’t drive if you’ve been awake for over 16 hours 
  • Stop every two hours to rest
  • Pull over and take a nap if you’re drowsy
  • Plan travel times for when you feel most awake.

Stay Safe During Rush Hour

Evening rush hour (between 4 and 7 pm on weekdays) is a dangerous time to drive due to busy roads and drivers eager to get home. In the colder months, it’s dark during rush hour, making the driving situation that much more dangerous.

Put safety first by: 

  • Not being an impatient driver 
  • Staying in your lane and aware of drivers who dart from lane to lane
  • Even though the route may be familiar, don’t go on autopilot; stay alert
  • In unfamiliar areas, consult a map before you  take on your route
  • Don’t touch your phone or do other things that are distracting.

Don’t Be Impaired Drivers

We should all be very clear that the effects of impaired driving can be catastrophic and that we never want to drive under the influence of anything. Impaired drivers are most frequently on the road after dark – particularly between the hours of midnight and 3 am on weekends. While drunk driving has declined, the number of drivers under the influence of drugs has increased. This growing problem must be addressed and strictly monitored.  

We only do one-quarter of our driving at night, but half of all traffic deaths occur at night. It doesn’t matter whether the road is familiar or not, night driving is always more dangerous. By taking some extra precautions, we can all contribute to safer driving.

About AJ Benet Insurance Agency

At AJ Benet Inc. Insurance Agency, we make sure that your New York Business Insurance policy includes more than the simple general liability and product liability. Our policies extend in cases where your underlying limits are exhausted. Our team of experts is willing to go the extra mile and not only protect your business but understand it. For more information, call us today at (914) 381-2040.

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