Driving at night is the single biggest risk factor for teen drivers. This is due to visibility challenges, fatigue and driver inexperience. Here are some facts you should know and tips to help you stay safe behind the wheel at night – especially when the time changes November 2 and we find ourselves driving in the dark more often.
The problem of nighttime driving:
- Dusk is the most dangerous time to drive since your eyes are having to constantly adjust to more darkness
- Your field of vision is usually smaller without the aid of light and glare of oncoming headlights further impair you ability to see well and avoid hazards
- It is more difficult to judge other vehicle’s speed and distance at night
The problem of drowsy driving:
- It’s important to recognize when you are too tired to drive.
- Difficulty focusing, heavy eyelids, daydreaming, drifting out of your lane, yawning and feeling restless or aggressive are all signs of being drowsy and time to pull over and take a break to wake up or take a nap.
- Teens need between 9-10 hours of sleep each night, but get 7.4, on average.
What you can do:
- Wear your seat belt. The danger of driving at night should not be multiplied by being unsecured.
- Keep distractions out of the car and your attention on the road.
- Turn headlights on at dusk, reduce your speed and increase your following distance.
- You should be able to stop inside the illuminated area of your headlights. If you’re not, you are creating a blind crash area in front of your vehicle.
- Avoid oncoming headlight glare by watching the right edge of the road and using it as a steering guide.
- Be especially careful of pedestrians and bicycle riders who may still be on the streets after dark.
- Get the sleep you need.
- Know the signs of being too drowsy to drive and ask for help!
Read more about the dangers of driving at night>
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