People who drive at night in Texas may not be aware that doing so greatly increases their chances of being in an accident. Not only is it harder to see when it is dark out, but certain conditions make it even more challenging to see the road. Ideally, driving at night should only occur when necessary, and if one must drive there are certain tips that can enhance safety for everyone.
According to the National Safety Council, fatal crashes occur three times more at night than at other times of the day and that most accidents occur between midnight and 6 AM. While driving when it is dark compromises vision in general, additional risk factors include fatigue, age and rush hour.
Studies find that 60% of people drive without adequate sleep and that operating on two hours less of sleep is equal to driving after drinking three alcoholic beverages. Age makes a big difference as far as how well one can see in the dark. Once a person turns 50, there is a need for double the amount of light, and driving becomes even more compromised after the age of 59. Seniors who are under the influence of prescription drugs have an additional disadvantage.
To help combat the dangers of driving at night, Popular Mechanics outlines some safety tips. These include:
- Reduce speed
- Wear glasses that do not reflect
- Dim lights on the dash
- Aim headlights correctly
- Avoid staring directly at oncoming lights
- Keep an eye out for the retina of animals
- Use fog or auxiliary lights
- Remove smudges off of mirrors and windshield