When you heard it was Daylight Saving Time, what was the first thing that came to mind? Did you think “Yay I get an extra hour of sleep?” or was it more, “Now it’s going to be getting darker earlier”?
Even though gaining an extra hour of sleep is pretty fantastic, the day getting darker earlier should be forefront in all of our minds! It””s not fun to think about losing sunlight, but because it will increase the time we spend driving in the dark, it is important to consider.
According to the National Safety Council, “Even with high-beam headlights on, visibility is limited to about 500 feet (250 feet for normal headlights), creating less time to react to something in the road, especially when driving at higher speeds.”
In summary, as drivers, we need to be extra cautious when driving at night!
To help with your night driving adventures, here are a few tips that drivers can perform to increase visibility and reduce accidents when driving at night:
- Drive slower. Due to less visibility at night, drivers should go slower to increase stopping time.
- Look away from oncoming traffic’s lights. This will prevent temporary blindness from lights.
- Watch for animals. Animals are more active at night, and deer are especially active from October to Mid-January.
- Properly working headlights. Headlights should be kept clean and be correctly aimed and adjusted.
- Keep exterior mirrors clean and properly adjusted to prevent glares. Mirrors should be aimed slightly downward so there is not constant glare in your eyes but not too much so you can still lean forward to see cars behind you.
- Dim the lights on your dashboard. This will reduce glare and increase visibility.
- Keep your eyes moving. Constant movement reduces eye fatigue!
- Wear anti-glare lenses for your glasses. This can reduce the strain from exterior lights.
- Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Less reaction time at night and your headlights will glare in their mirrors!
- Be aware of an increase in fatigue due to driving in the dark. Never drive when fatigued. Take a nap if needed!
When driving at night it is critical to make sure you are doing everything you can to drive safely! No one wants to wake up in the middle of the night to a phone call saying one of their loved ones has been in an accident. As our days slowly keep getting darker, remember to drive safe, and I hope you enjoyed that extra hour of sleep.
The IMT Loss Control Department has resources available to help our agents and insureds in their efforts to reduce exposures and injuries while promoting safety at the workplace and in the home. Please contact our office if you have an insured you think could benefit from additional information or a loss control visit.
Copyright 2018 National Safety Council