Driving at Night

Posted by Melissa Hall in #YHSafetyTips, Nov 07, 2018

With the end of daylight savings time comes more hours of darkness! For the majority of workers, the majority of their evening commute will be driven in darkness until daylight savings time starts again on Sunday, March 10th.

Even though we only do one quarter of our driving at night, according to 50% of traffic deaths occur at night.

When driving in the dark, a variety of driving factors can affect your driving including:

  • Depth perception
  • Color recognition
  • Peripheral vision
  • Temporary “blindness” caused by oncoming headlights

A driver’s ago also affects the ability to drive at night. For example, a 50-year-old drive might need twice as much light to see at night as someone who is only thirty years old.

For all drivers, nighttime visibility is limited to about 500 feet with the high beams on, and only 250 feet with a car’s regular headlights.

There is a number of things you can do to increase your own safety when driving at night.

  • Make sure your headlights are clean and aimed correctly
  • Dim your dashboard lights to avoid too much light inside your vehicle
  • Do not look into the lights of oncoming cars
  • If you wear glasses, invest in anti-reflective lenses
  • Keep your windshield clean of debris
  • Drive the speed limit
  • Minimize distractions including the radio and talking on a cellphone or to other passengers

Driving during the evening rush hour, often defined as the time frame between 4PM – 7PM, is more dangerous in the dark due to increased traffic on the road. Stay safe while driving during rush hour by remaining patient, watching your speed, staying in your lane, and not weaving in and out of traffic. You should also avoid distractions including eating, drinking and using your cell phone, as traffic can come to a sudden stop during rush hour.

While you should always remain attentive and alert when driving, it is especially important to avoid all distractions when during at night.

Follow our #YHSafetyTips blog for weekly updates! If you haven’t read last week’s blog on How To File a Complaint With OSHA, you can find it here.

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