Kate Wells

The days are shorter and nights are longer which means it’s time for motorists to change their driving behaviors. Driving at night can be a challenge for all drivers. It means you can’t see as well or judge situations that might come up as efficiently.

Here are some tips to help you to be a safer nighttime driver:

Don’t drive if you are feeling drowsy – Many crashes happen because the driver is tired. In fact, studies show almost 16 per cent of collisions were caused by sleepiness. Pull over if you are feeling too tired to drive, or don’t get in the vehicle at all.

Use your headlights – Low-beam headlights will usually shine a path in front of you up to 30 meters. High-beams increase that to 100 meters. Make sure you dim your headlights when a vehicle is within 150 meters of you so you don’t blind the other driver.

Never “over-drive” your headlights – This means you are driving too fast for what your headlights cover on the road, making it more difficult to stop in time.

Move your eyes – Scan all intersections carefully, watching out for pedestrians and other road users who might not be prepared for being seen on the road. Slow down when approaching crosswalks and areas where pedestrians would be.

Increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you – This allows for extra time and space if you need to react to a situation up ahead. Give yourself an escape route all around your vehicle so if an emergency situation happens, you have somewhere to go.

Keep windows, mirrors, headlights and tail lights clean and free from debris – Being able to see properly is extremely important when driving at night. Many people are not comfortable driving at night. If that’s you, hang up your keys and limit driving to daytime hours only. Then, plan ahead so you don’t find yourself unexpectedly stuck driving at night when you are not experienced at it.

Follow these tips and we will all be safer on the roads!

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