Unlike other dangerous driving conditions or distracted driving, driving at night is almost entirely unavoidable. Just because the sun goes down, doesn't mean our lives are put on hold. We drive home from work, go out for dinner and travel in the dark without thinking twice about the lack of light.
The facts and numbers
There are some people who are afraid to drive at night and, quite honestly, some of the facts show that they aren't unreasonable.
While only 25% of driving happens after the sun goes down, 55% of driving fatalities occur at night. Why is this? To begin with, 90% of a driver's reaction time depends on his or her vision of the road. It takes about 200 feet to stop a vehicle going 100 km/hour, but when you have your low beams on at night, they only reach about 160 feet. That leaves 40 feet of unknown between you and your stopping point.
That isn't to say that you shouldn't drive at night, as we said it is virtually unavoidable. We just want you to stay safe - that's what Subaru of Niagara is all about.
Safety tips for night driving
- Always keep your headlights, tail lights and windows clean. As we said, visibility is 90% responsible for a driver's reaction time, and keeping things clean will ensure your visibility is optimal.
- When in doubt, turn your headlights on. As twilight comes on, turn your headlights on, whether you think you need them or not. At dusk, your lights won't improve your visibility very much, but they will allow other drivers to see you more clearly.
- Make sure your headlights are properly aimed to give you the best light on the road in front of you. Other drivers will also thank you for not blinding them.
- Give yourself room on the road. Do not overdrive your headlights (remember the 200 feet rule from above) and increase your distance between other vehicles. Remember, you are only in control of your own driving, not the driving of those around you.
If you are a driver who gets nervous as the light fades, keep these safety precautions in mind. While driving at night doesn't give you the safest driving conditions, when you are confident and safety minded, there is nothing to worry about.