What are the Biggest Safety Concerns When Driving at Night?

At some point you will need to make a night journey in your car. There are certain issues that you have to deal with when driving at night which may affect your safety. First of all, the darkness lowers your visibility, making it harder to see hazards. And secondly, if you are not used to being awake at night, you may find yourself becoming drowsy.

Visibility at Night

It might seem quite obvious to state that visibility is much reduced at night, but it is an important fact. Drivers mainly depend upon their vision in order to develop safe driving habits, and if this perception is impaired, you are more likely to end up in an accident. Not only does the increased darkness affect your depth perception, it also affects your peripheral perception as well, making you less likely to spot another vehicle coming up alongside you in the window.

There is also an age issue with driving at night. Older drivers generally have more trouble seeing at night than younger drivers, so they might be more at risk of missing a potential hazard. On the other hand, younger drivers are more likely to overestimate their reaction speeds and react to hazards to slowly and with less caution. Therefore, you need to be aware of your particular limitation while driving at night so that you can try to compensate for them.

Drowsiness

Our body clocks are automatically programmed to feel sleepy when it gets dark. Unless you have trained your mind and body otherwise by doing night shifts at work, your body may react to the darkness outside the car with reduced attention. There is also the ultimate danger that you may fall asleep at the wheel.

The big problem with drowsiness is that it reduces your concentration. This can result in silly mistakes or missed hazards that can lead you into danger. It also results in your reaction time slowing down so that it becomes more difficult to get yourself out of danger easily.

If you know that you have to make a night journey, you can try to limit the problems associated with night driving. It would be a good idea to make sure that your lights are working and that you travel along brightly lit routes rather than dim countryside lanes. It is also a good idea to avoid drinking any alcohol at all when driving at night as it can inhibit your concentration even more, even if you keep within the legal limit.

To keep yourself awake, you can enlist the help of a friend to be your passenger and talk to you to keep you awake, or even take turns at the wheel if you have a lengthy journey. It can be a good idea to crack the window open a little so that you get some fresh air. Fresh air can help to keep you awake. If you do feel sleepy, it might be best to pull over to the side of the road so that you can move about and wake up a bit.

Driving a night can be more dangerous than driving during the day. Decreased visibility can lead to an unawareness of potential hazards on the road which can be fatal. Drowsiness can negatively affect your concentration and contribute to accidents. It is best to take steps to reduce the dangers of night driving by increasing your alertness and making sure that you plan your journey well to avoid badly lit roads.

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