Top Tips for Late Night Driving
Friday Apr. 9th, 2021
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There are always risks when you take to the roads, and with six million auto accidents occurring in the US every single year, it's clear to see that those risks are very real. They can become even worse after dark, as the odds of encountering a reckless or under-the-influence driver are even higher, and visibility can be more difficult too.
Still, a lot of people find themselves driving after dark. Many people like to go out in the evenings to clubs and bars, for example, while others work late shifts and need to get to and from their jobs in nighttime conditions, and there are many other situations where you might find yourself driving at night as well. This guide will cover some top tips to help you stay safe.
Be Extra Vigilant
Vigilance is one of the most important skills for any driver to master. You have to be alert, attentive and focused on your surroundings as you drive in order to spot possible threats or hazards and then take the appropriate action to avoid them, and this can truly be the “make or break” factor when it comes to staying safe or getting into an accident, especially at night.
You have to be particularly vigilant in the evenings, as the conditions can make accidents much more likely to occur. People tend to be more likely to speed or break the rules after dark, as they may feel that they're less likely to be spotted or caught, and there's also a higher chance of encountering drunk drivers too.
Make Use of Your Lights and Mirrors
Obviously, one of the big problems with driving after dark is the fact that visibility levels can be reduced. Many places have streetlights and other sources of light to illuminate the roads, but it can still be much harder to see the road ahead of you and the area around you, which means that hazards and dangers can simply spring out of nowhere, totally unexpected and raising the risk of terrible auto accidents occurring.
Use your car's own headlights to lighten up the path ahead of you, watching closely for road signs, hazards, and, if you're in the city, looking over to the sidewalks too to check for any pedestrians who might be about to step out into the road. It's also recommended to make consistent use of your mirrors to watch the sides and rear of your vehicle for any other cars nearby.
Watch Out for Drunk Drivers
As stated earlier, the odds of encountering drunk drivers after dark is higher than in the daytime. This is logical, as many people tend to drink in the evenings, after work, and this is when bars start to open up and fill up with people. Even though we're all aware of the risks of drunk driving, countless Americans admit to getting behind the wheel after a drink or several.
If you cross these drivers on the road, their slow reaction and poor decision-making could put you in danger, so try to watch out for them. There are many red flags and warning signs you can rely on to alert you to a drunk driver. These drivers will often swerve left and right, change speed randomly, react slowly to traffic light changes, and fail to use mirrors and signals too.
Never Drive Under the Influence
We've just spoken about the dangers of drunk driving, and it's important to always remember the risks you can face if you choose to get behind the wheel after drinking. Alcohol impairs so many of the key skills you need to drive safely, from your ability to spot and recognize hazards to your hand-eye coordination, which is necessary for controlling the steering wheel and keeping yourself safe.
It's simply not worth the risk to drink and drive, and the statistics prove this point, showing that thousands of people die every single year in drunk driving-related accidents. So don't let yourself make that same mistake. If you're planning to go to the bar with friends or family, have a designated driver or make use of other transportation options like taxis and rideshare services to help you get home safely when the night is over.
Driving after dark can feel quite daunting, especially in big city environments where drunk drivers and reckless drivers are common. Keep these tips in mind the next time you're navigating the roads at night time in order to keep yourself, and those around you safe.