Are You Afraid of (Driving in) the Dark?
7 Ways to Drive Safer at Night

Although most driving happens during the day, nearly half of all accidents occur at night (FirstTimeDriver.com). On November 1, Americans set their clocks back for Daylight Savings Time and gained an hour of sleep. As we fall back to shorter daylight hours, it’s important to take extra care when behind the wheel. Driving in the dark comes with a unique set of nuances that require extra precautions.

Here are seven steps you can take to help make driving in the dark a little safer.

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  • Make sure they’re clean and free of grime, as cloudy headlight covers can reduce brightness. A headlight polishing kit can help remove filmy build-up from the plastic coverings.
  • Aim them low. Sometimes even headlights in brand new cars are uneven or improperly pointed. Refer to your owner’s manual and take the time to make sure they’re aimed properly.
  • Replace aged bulbs with new ones and if you have the option, keep your headlights on the auto setting. They’ll turn on automatically once darkness begins to set in and you won’t have to worry about remembering to turn them on each time.

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  • The bright lights from your dashboard can be distracting to your vision and diminish your sight for the road.
  • Turn them down to help you better see what’s outside of your car, rather than what’s inside.

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  • Make sure your eyeglass prescription is up to date. Not having the proper RX in your glasses can hinder your vision, especially when driving at night.
  • Add an anti-reflective coating to your lenses to reduce glare from oncoming traffic and streetlights.

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  • Dirty windows reduce visibility and increase glare from the headlights of other vehicles. Keep your windshield clean, free of debris and avoid streaking during the cleaning process.
  • Ensure that your windshield wipers are in good condition and working properly, and that your windshield washer fluid is full.

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  • Avoid looking directly into the head or taillights of other vehicles. Focus on the road in front of you.
  • Be a good road neighbor and remember to dim your own headlights for oncoming traffic.

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  • The months between October and November are mating season for deer in New York state. Deer are traveling more often, resulting in an uptick in deer-vehicle collisions.
  • Be on guard even on city roads, as deer will roam further than normal during this time of year.
  • When there’s one, there’s more (even if you don’t see them). Reduce your speed and be prepared to stop if need be.

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  • Not all walkers and joggers wear reflective gear as they should. Be on the lookout, especially while traveling on poorly lit roads.
  • Never assume a pedestrian sees you and always reduce your speed when passing them by on the road.

 

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