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When the Sun Goes Down, Make Sure to Remember These Safe Driving Tips

Like most people, you probably think you're a pretty good driver.

You don't drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you don't use your cellphone to text or make calls while you're driving, and you try to always follow the basic rules of the road.

While those are always excellent habits for motorists to have, there's one dangerous scenario that can be next to impossible to avoid: driving at night.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities on the road occur at a rate three times greater at night than during the day. Only a quarter of all driving is done at night, but more than half of all driving deaths occur then. Yes, many of these crashes can be attributed to individuals who are driving drunk or drowsy, but traffic accidents at night can also simply be caused by the darkness.

The National Safety Council says that ninety percent of a driver's reaction depends on their vision. When Mother Nature hits the earth's light switch for the evening, your depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision all become compromised.

What are some ways you can stay safe on the road at night? Try these tips:

  • Slow down and increase your following distance. It is more difficult to judge how fast other vehicles are going and how close they are to you when it's dark.
  • Make sure your headlights are aimed correctly. Even the newest cars can have headlights that are pointed too low and unevenly. Also make sure those headlights are clean and free from grime or haze so they are able to shine properly.
  • Look out for the glow of an animal's eyes. It can be next to impossible to spot an animal in the road, but you will be able to see the glow of their eyes from a pretty good distance away. If you spot your headlights reflecting off an animal's eyes, slow down and proceed with caution to avoid colliding with them.
  • Keep your windshield clean. We are talking about cleaning both the outside and inside to eliminate glare.

A lot of driving at night involves common sense, so just make sure you're always on alert if you're driving after the sun goes down.

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