Traffic Accident News & Alerts

Learn more


All articles:

Something you may not think about often but it is more dangerous to drive at night.  Here are some tips to make sure you safe driving on dark, nighttime roads.

Work on your vision

Our pupils dilate in the dark, and our eyesight tends to detect lights and movement rather than the color and sharp details that we recognize during the day, says many eye doctors.  Consequently, our depth perception isn’t as keen at night, and our eyes may be more prone to become dry or tired because we tend to concentrate more and blink less.

With these physiological factors in mind, there are a few things you can do to make nighttime treks less treacherous. Eye doctors typically recommend scanning the road and keeping your eyes moving instead of concentrating all your vision on one area.

It’s also important to understand what you’re seeing. For example, if you’re traveling through a rural area that’s packed with deer, raccoons or other wildlife, two small, bright dots may be animal eyes in the distance ahead. Try to avoid looking for reflections of your headlights in its eyes, which should be visible well before you can see the entire animal.

Make sure you’re getting your vision checked regularly, too. You should be checking every 2 years.

Make Sure Your Lights Work

At night, the lights around you can work against you just as much as they work for you. Make sure that your headlights are aimed properly.   Driving at dusk also poses greater risks than you might expect, since your eyes have to continually adjust as night falls. If the lights on your dashboard are on their brightest setting, it may  take a toll on your forward visibility. Dim your interior lights so that they are visible, but not distracting. That way, it will be easy for your eyes to adjust to the lights on the road ahead.

By the same token, avoid staring at headlights from oncoming traffic and other bright lights out on the road. It’s easy to get distracted by the high beams of a tall truck, or the glare coming off of an illuminated billboard. If you’re blinded by oncoming traffic, look toward the right edge of the road and steer along its path until you can see clearly again, the NSC suggests.

Keep it Clean

Make sure that your headlights, taillights and turn signals are clean (and of course, clear of ice and snow), and ensure that your mirrors are also clean and properly adjusted. This can help maximize your ability to see what’s going on around you.

Stay Alert

It should go without saying, but being distracted should always be avoided. Stop to stretch your legs and get food if you’re on a long trip, and if you’re tired, make sure you get some rest before heading back out on the road. It can be hard to judge how fast a car is traveling or how far away it is at night, so slow down and make sure that you are following other vehicles at a safe distance. Be mindful of other drivers, and switch to your low beams if there’s oncoming traffic or if you’re following another vehicle.

Whether it’s just after dusk, or right before dawn, these tips can help you take back the night.

Attorney Jason Weisser of Shuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck comments about driving at night:   “It is always more dangerous to drive at night.  Make sure you are well rested and you follow these tips to keep you and your loved ones safe behind the wheel”.