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Reducing Nighttime Driving Risks

We all know how perilous driving at night is compared to driving during the day. While statistically we only do one quarter of our driving after sunset, 50% of traffic deaths happen at night. When Daylight Saving Time ends – for 2020, that is 2 AM on Sunday, November 1 – many people will find themselves spending more time driving in the dark. Here are four safety tips that could help reduce the risks of driving at nighttime:

Use Your Lights. Be sure your headlights are clean and on before you get out on the road. Be aware of distractive lighting as well – dim your interior lights so that critical controls remain visible but not disturbing to avoid the disorientating effects of glancing from a bright dashboard to the dark roadway. Routinely test all your lights, including turn signals and brake lights.

Slow Down. Speeding-related crashes increase over 10% from day to night due to lower visibility and shorter reaction times. Driving at a safe speed will increase your ability to spot hazards or anticipate what other drivers will do.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled. While your attention should always be focused on the road, this is especially important at night. A few hazards to be on the lookout for at night include vehicles without lights, debris in the road, animals crossing the road, and unpredictable roadways.

Be a Defensive Driver. After dark, staying alert is essential when you are behind the wheel. You are four times more likely to be involved in an accident at nighttime if you are drinking and driving, driving under the influence, or driving fatigued. Be aware impaired drivers are most frequently on the road after dark – particularly between the hours of midnight and 6 AM.

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