You’re not just feeling paranoid: driving after dark really is more dangerous. In fact, fatal auto accidents are 3 times more likely to occur at night than during the daylight hours, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. So, what’s the reason for this increase in auto accidents? Well, it’s the simple fact that no matter your experience or age, driving at night means you have to deal with lower visibility. Drivers see less of the road at night and have less room and less time to stop. Keep reading to learn more about how you can avoid nighttime driving risks and keep yourself safe on the open road here in Indianapolis and beyond.
5 Nighttime Safe Driving Tips
1. Be Defensive
Usually, being a defensive person is thought to be a bad thing — but not when it comes to driving at night! Defensive driving is one of the best ways that you can stay alert and decrease your risk of being involved in an accident after dark. So, keep your eye peeled for other drivers, wildlife, road changes, and inclement weather whenever you must drive at night.
2. Combat Fatigue
Did you know that drowsy-driving accidents are most likely to occur between the hours of midnight and 6 am? This means that if you must drive late at night, you need to take extra care to prepare for a safe journey. You should drive in shifts when possible, stop whenever you start to feel drowsy and allow plenty of time to make it to your final destination — just in case you do need to make frequent stops.
3. Give Yourself a Clear View
A damaged or dirty windshield can make it difficult to see oncoming traffic or other issues on your journey. In fact, even small smudges that aren’t visible during the daylight can be enough to increase the effects of glare at night and greatly reduce your visibility. Take the time to clean your windshield regularly and always keep a few paper towels or a microfiber cloth on hand for quick cleanup.
4. Adjust Your Speed
The speed limits that are set on Indiana roads are meant for day time driving, in clear weather conditions. This means that you should be adjusting your speed at night to ensure that you always maintain proper visibility. On average, your headlights should shine about 160 feet in front of your vehicle. But at 40 mph, you need about 190 feet to make a safe stop. So be sure to slow down whenever you drive at night.
5. Maintain Your Headlights
If your headlights are dirty, damaged or pointing in the wrong direction, you’re going to have a hard time seeing the road clearly at night. Proper headlight care and maintenance are essential for safer nighttime driving conditions. If your headlights are tilted at the wrong angle, they will not illuminate the road in front of you properly. And dingy or dim headlights won’t do much for you either. So, replace your headlights at the first sign of trouble and remember always to switch out both bulbs at the same time.
Contact Binford Insurance Today
With a few simple safety tips and the added protection offered by a comprehensive auto insurance policy, you can rest easy knowing you’re prepared for nighttime driving conditions. Interested in learning more about the many benefits of total insurance protection? Call (317) 588-3825 or contact our friendly independent insurance agents today for more information and be sure to request a free quote.