Atlanta Dent Company was featured in the February 2013 issue of My North Fulton Monthly magazine. Visit the My North Fulton Monthly magazine online for more information.
Nighttime Driving Tips
Am I just getting older, or is nighttime driving getting harder? Actually, it is a little of both. And in the February cold when darkness hits at 5 p.m., there had better be a good reason for me to run an errand or take a child to practice because, I admit, I don’t like driving at night anymore.
Traffic death rates are three times greater at night than during the day, according to the National Safety Council. They are also greater on weekend nights due to alcohol consumption.
Why is night driving so dangerous? One obvious answer is darkness. Ninety percent of a driver’s reaction depends on vision, and vision is severely limited at night. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision are compromised after sundown.
Older drivers have even greater difficulties seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year old.
Another factor adding danger to night driving is fatigue. Drowsiness makes driving more difficult by dulling concentration and slowing reaction time.
Fortunately, you can take several effective measures to minimize these after-dark driving dangers by preparing your car and following special guidelines while you drive. The National Safety Council recommends the following:
- Prepare your car for night driving. Clean headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows (inside and out) once a week, more often if necessary.
- Have your headlights properly aimed. Misaimed headlights blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.
- Don’t drink and drive. Alcohol not only severely impairs your driving ability but also acts as a depressant. Just one drink can induce fatigue.
- If there is any doubt, turn your headlights on. Lights will not help you see better in early twilight, but they’ll make it easier for other drivers to see you. Being seen by other drivers is as important as you seeing other drivers.
- Reduce your speed and increase your following distances. It is more difficult to judge other vehicles’ speeds and distances at night.
- When following another vehicle, keep your headlights on low beams so you don’t blind the driver ahead of you.
- If the driver of an oncoming vehicle is using the high beams, you can avoid the blinding glare by watching the right edge of the road and using it as a steering guide.
Sometimes an easy safety and cosmetic fix can be headlight restoration. This process can remove the yellow, fading or oxidized headlights and make them look like new again.
Download the Nighttime Driving Tips Article.