The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Daylight Savings and Driving in the Dark

Randy DeVaul

Posted on November 2, 2019 08:47

0 user

With the changing back of the clocks we once again are in the season of driving more in the dark. Take extra care during night driving, especially if weather is not cooperating. Follow these safety tips to keep yourself and others on the road safe.

No matter the season, driving during hours of darkness requires more diligence than when driving during daylight hours. Night driving is the time that is 30 minutes before dusk to 30 minutes after sunrise.

Statistics state that you are twice more likely to get in a vehicle accident during night hours than daylight. During the winter months, especially, there are much longer hours of night driving along with weather and road condition issues. 

First, make sure your headlights – low and high beams – work properly. Replace burned-out bulbs and ensure your lights are aligned correctly on the road and not blind oncoming traffic.

Next, for drivers who somehow missed drivers’ education, keep headlights on low beam when driving on well-lit streets and courteously dim your high beams when there is traffic coming toward you. It is hard to believe that there would be so many people driving that don’t have a clue they are blinding the person coming towards them. 

Use the right lane lines to guide you when looking away from glare, whether from cars, wet pavement, or bright signs. People tend to drive toward the direction they are looking. Centering yourself on the centerline will move you closer to traffic passing you. Keeping your car in the lane by focusing on the right side of the road reduces your risk of hitting the car coming toward you and still keep you out of the ditch.

Adjust your speed – slow down! I can’t see the sides of the road as well at night so driving the speed limit or faster won’t help me miss the wildlife that just jumped out into the lane from the right shoulder of the road. Also for winter, as the sun sets and the temperature goes down, black ice and other road hazards change quickly.

Head and taillights don’t work well if covered in snow, ice, and/or road grime. Wash them periodically. Well-cleaned lights don’t work well if your windshield is still covered with frost, snow, and/or ice when you decide to start driving. Clean it as often as needed.

Well-cleaned lights and windshield won’t work well for you if your windshield wipers are ‘junk.’ Particularly with night driving and lights coming toward you, streaking wipers will distort your vision quickly and no matter how much washer fluid you use – if the fluid is not frozen or clogged with more junk – if your wipers don’t remove it cleanly then you have just complicated your driving life.

For those of us who are starting to show signs of aging or who have vision problems, consider limiting the amount of time spent night driving. If you have not had an eye exam in a while, those ‘halo’ effects with lights suggests there could be something medically wrong, requiring an eye examination.

Be courteous, periodically inspect your lights, keep your lights, windshield, and wipers working properly – quick and necessary actions to ensure that you return safely home.

Randy DeVaul

Posted on November 2, 2019 08:47

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

If you're having a hard time seeing on the road at night, dusk or dawn, you're not alone and likely not to blame.

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest