Everyone has to drive in the dark at some point. Seasoned drivers may commute to work early in the morning or late in the evening. New teen drivers might be driving to school before sunrise or home from a late activity after dark.
You can do plenty of things to be a safer driver in the dark that will help prevent car accidents and the painful, time-consuming and costly recovery that may follow.
- Fight fatigue
Driving in the dark can easily cause drowsiness. Take steps to keep yourself awake and alert. Listen to loud, upbeat music or an interesting podcast or drink a caffeinated beverage. If you have a long drive ahead in the dark, make sure you are well-rested beforehand.
- Be a defensive driver
Do not trust other drivers on the road to keep you safe. Allow a little extra distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. This will give you extra time to stop or react to unexpected hazards on the road.
- Use your high beams when needed
Less-traveled roads and country roads are often dark for long periods of time. Turn on your high beams on those roads to allow yourself a greater view of what is ahead. This may also alert you to deer and other animals darting onto the road. Remember to be courteous and turn the high beams off whenever a car approaches you from the opposite direction.
Avoid touching the windshield with your hands at all times, even to clear off condensation. Windows that may seem clear in the daytime will reveal streaks and blurs when hit by headlights and street lights at night, impairing your vision of the road.