If you are like many other drivers in North Carolina, your day does not end once the sun goes down. You may still have to run errands, drive to or from work or go out with friends. However, you may not be aware of the dangers associated with driving at night.
According to the National Safety Council, 37% of people polled admit that they have fallen asleep at the wheel, while 4% report that they caused a car accident from falling asleep. People are three times more likely to die in a car accident at night than they are during the day.
What are the dangers of nighttime driving?
The lack of natural sunlight is one major danger of nighttime driving. It is more difficult to see in low-light conditions, as your peripheral and central vision are affected. As you get older, the need for more light is increased, and you are more likely to suffer from eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. The darkness also affects your depth perception. For example, people turning may have trouble judging the speed and distance of an oncoming vehicle, making it hard to turn safely into traffic.
Another danger involves an increased number of drowsy, drunk and distracted drivers. Evening rush hour can be hazardous when daylight savings takes effect.
What can you do to drive safely?
There are some steps you can take to minimize your risk of becoming involved in a nighttime car accident, including the following:
- Get plenty of sleep and do not drive drowsy
- Have regular eye exams to ensure your sight is optimal
- Minimize distractions, especially at night
- Avoid looking directly into oncoming headlights
- Reduce your speed and remain alert
- Dim your dashboard or limit lighting in your vehicle
It can be wise to limit your nighttime driving; however, if you need to, be sure to remain cautious.