6 Quick Tips to Driving Safely at Night
It’s just about midway through July and we want to take this opportunity to prepare you for August, the most dangerous month of the year when considering auto accidents; driving at night being the most fatal circumstance. 49% of all fatal car accidents occur at night despite there being fewer drivers on the road. The 2 biggest threats to your safety while night driving are: alertness and sight. The simple fact is drivers are less alert at night. We as a society significantly undervalue the importance of the recommended 8 hours of sleep and significantly overvalue the power of caffeine. Also, when considering sight it’s important to point out that 90% of our reaction ability while driving relies on sight, which becomes more challenging at night. According to Risk Control Services, depth perception, color recognition & peripheral vision drastically decrease after the sun sets. What can we do to combat these threats? We have researched a few tips to assist you in staying alert and through our 50 years in the auto industry we have some simple advice to offer regarding your vehicle to help improve your sight.
Stay at Attention
1. Carpool: Statistics show if you are driving with someone else in the vehicle you are less likely to crash & die, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
2. Take a Nap! Taking a break from driving for a short nap about 15-20 minutes has been shown to improve subsequent performance, even among sleep-deprived people. However, be cautious because if the nap is longer than 20 minutes it can most likely have the opposite effect making you even groggier (NHTSA).
3. Consume some Caffeine: while we don’t think that caffeine is the answer studies have some that a minimum of 2 cups of coffee can significantly improve alertness in sleepy drivers. In driving simulations sleep-deprived drivers who consumed the recommended minimum of 2 cups of coffee or more showed reduced lane deviations, potential crashes, and sleepiness for about an hour after consumption (NHTSA).
4. Get UNComfy! Extreme temperatures hot or cold and an uncomfortable seat or position have aided in keeping sleepy drivers awake (NHSTA).
Let There Be Light
5. Headlights: verify they are both working, if not we recommend replacing them in pairs if the other is beginning to look dim. Otherwise you risk having one weak, dull headlight and a brand new bright one. Surprisingly, this can be extremely distracting to oncoming traffic and can be disorienting to you as the driver. Also it is important to keep it clean. The headlight housing should always be clean and clear. Grime and pitting from oxidation reduce the amount of light that can be illuminating to the road in front of you. Headlight restoration kits can help restore headlight clarity & allow more light to hit the pavement. You can DIY with the BG Headlight Restoration Kit we offer in our parts department or if you’d like us to do the dirty work for you we offer a Headlight Restoration Service which is $148.02 plus tax give us a call (301)419-2700 or set up an appointment here.
6. Brake lights: verify they are both working too! They serve as a vital warning giving the drivers behind you reaction time when you need to make an emergency stop.
Share your night driving tips or let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below.