Summer has ended, and while fall and winter have their own fun— including football tailgating, holiday travel, sledding, looking at holiday lights — longer nights mean increased danger on the roads.
You might think you drive just as well at night, but consider this: Even though nighttime driving accounts for just 23% of vehicle miles traveled, more than 50% of fatalities for vehicle occupants 16 and older occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Safety Commission (NSC).
At Cobos Insurance Center our client safety is a priority, so we thought it would be helpful to take a look at why night driving is more dangerous, and what you can do to decrease that danger.
What’s dangerous about night driving?
1. Decreased vision. We won’t go into all the biological details, but different parts of the eye (such as iris, pupil and retina) work differently at night. Your peripheral vision is actually slightly improved, but it’s more difficult to focus on objects ahead of you. And traveling between well-lit areas and darker roads creates issues as well.
2. Driving too fast for your headlights. Depending on vehicle speed and headlight setting, many people “over-drive” their headlights. That means, by the time they see something on the road, it’s too late to stop in time to avoid it.
3. Impaired judgment. Whether due to drowsiness or the use of alcohol or drugs, it appears that drivers at night often don’t use good judgment. According to the NSC, 66% of fatalities at night involve vehicle occupants who weren’t wearing seat belts.
So what do you do?
Sometimes, there’s no way around driving at night. So here are some tips to help you make a safe trip — whether you’re just running to the store, or taking a long trip. Here are some tips.
1. Make sure your vehicle’s lights are in good working condition. And not just headlights, but turn signals, taillights, etc.
2. Avoid speeding. Leave a bigger cushion between you and other cars than you would during daylight hours. Leave yourself more time for the trip.
3. Be more aware of your surroundings. You shouldn’t be using your phone, messing around with the radio or trying to find something on the floor while you’re on the road anyway — and distractions are even more deadly at night.
4. Do not text and drive. Not only it is it illegal, but according to the National highway transportation Admin you are 23X more likely to be involved in a crash. Don't think texting is that big of a deal? Did you know that if you text while you are about 6X more likely to cause an accident than driving while intoxicated.
5. Dim your dashboard. Interior lights can shine into your eyes or cause visual fatigue. Dashboard dim for a reason. Be sure to use it!
6. Wash your windshield inside and out. Super common sense advise, but your will not believe how many people are driving with dirty windshields. Tip: Use vinegar and newspaper for the cheapest and most streak free clean.
Of course, if you’re not comfortable driving at night, the best thing is to avoid it altogether if possible. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a ride from a friend or using a site like Uber or Lyft.
We’re open all day, including Saturdays!
When you’re driving around during the day, stop in to Cobos Insurance for a review of your coverage. We won’t keep you after dark, we promise. Just give us a call at 440-324-2584. We’re here to help!
At Cobos Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you've got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 440-324-3732 or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what's important to you is protected!