Night Driving: What to watch out for in the dark
Night driving can be a relaxing experience. Traffic is light and the night sky can be beautiful. But it can also be dangerous. More crashes happen at night, and studies have shown driving while fatigued can be worse than driving while impaired. Let’s not forget about reduced vision, among many other factors. It’s important to practice safe driving at night. Here’s what truck drivers need to watch out for in the dark.
A driver’s vision can easily become impaired at night. Depth perception, peripheral vision and color recognition may be compromised. In order to help stay alert in the dark, drivers can do things like dim dashboard lights, avoid the glare of oncoming traffic, put their smartphone away, reduce speed and clean the windshield. If you use glasses, the night is the best time to wear them.
It’s not uncommon for folks to drive while tired, but it’s especially dangerous if you’re hauling freight. Falling asleep at the wheel can have devastating consequences. You’re less likely to be fatigued if you get a good amount of sleep before your shift. Taking breaks every few hours can also be helpful. If you’re feeling drowsy, pull over and take a nap. Don’t forget to be mindful of other drivers who may be sleepy.
You’re far more likely to encounter drunk drivers between midnight and early morning on weekends. While driving during these times, be especially careful of those around you. If somebody is swerving, driving at low speed or doesn’t have headlights on, stay away from them. It may also be wise to alert the authorities if possible to help the drunk driver and anybody else on the road.
Keep an eye out for any wild animals that may jump onto the road at night. Wildlife crossings are common everywhere across the country, but it’s much more difficult to see creatures coming when it’s dark. Sometimes animals are large enough to cause serious damage in a collision, and they tend to leap out at the most unexpected times.
Practice Safe Driving
Hauling freight at night can be peaceful, but drivers always need to be vigilant about possible dangers. Make sure you’re fit to drive and keep an eye on others who might be a threat. Get plenty of rest and do your best to create a safe driving experience. Just remember everything above, and you can stay alert and safe while trucking under the stars.