Driving at night is challenging and even frightening for many people. Older people in particular experience problems because of changes in vision due to aging. No matter what your age and extent of driving experience, if you’ve been the victim of a car crash, particularly one that occurred at night, being behind the wheel after dark can be a terrifying thing.
However, for many people, night driving — especially during the winter months — is necessary. Below are some tips to help you stay safer.
Use your headlights appropriately. If you have a newer-model car, you can keep your headlights on the automatic setting, so they’ll go on when the level of light drops, whether because of the time or the weather. If you don’t have automatic headlights, get in the habit of turning them on an hour before the sun sets. Make sure your headlights are clean — particularly if it’s been snowing or raining.
Don’t drive drowsy. Even if it’s only 5:00 p.m., the darkness can sometimes lead our bodies to believe it’s later than it is. Be aware if you start to lose your concentration or feel the need to rest your eyes. It’s especially important to keep scanning the road around you and checking your mirrors when it’s dark.
It may help to put your windows down and get some fresh air — even for a few seconds — or to play some lively music. However, if you’re really too tired to drive, don’t.
Leave plenty of room ahead of you. It’s never smart to follow too closely behind another vehicle. However, when it’s dark and your headlights are on, those lights can be highly distracting (and dangerous) to the driver in front of you if you’re too close. If someone behind you is getting too close, move over when you can and let them pass.
Of course, too many people on the road don’t follow these tips or seemingly practice safe driving habits. If you’re injured by another driver, make sure that you get the compensation you need and deserve for medical bills and other expenses and damages.