As Daylight Savings Time begins, please take extra care on the road.
The National Safety Council reports that shorter days, fatigue, compromised night vision, rush hour, and impaired drivers are some of the risks we face when driving at night.
What should you do to combat darkness?
- Aim your headlights correctly, and make sure they're clean
- Dim your dashboard
- Look away from oncoming lights
- If you wear glasses, make sure they're anti-reflective
- Clean the windshield to eliminate streaks
- Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time
The AOA recommends older drivers:
- Have annual vision exams
- Reduce speed
- Take a driving course; even experienced drivers can benefit from a refresher course, and some of the rules have probably changed
- Minimize distractions, like talking with passengers or listening to the radio
- Check with your doctor about side effects of prescription drugs
- Limit driving to daytime hours if necessary
The National Sleep Foundation offers this advice:
- Get seven or more hours of sleep a night
- Don't drive if you've been awake for 16 hours or more
- Stop every two hours to rest
- Pull over and take a nap if you're drowsy
- Travel during times you are normally awake
How can you make it home safely during rush hour?
- Don't be an impatient driver; slow down
- Stay in your lane and beware of drivers who dart from lane to lane
- Even though the route may be familiar, don't go on autopilot; stay alert
- In unfamiliar areas, consult a map before you go and memorize your route
- Don't touch your phone, eat, drink or do other things that are distracting
For more information on risks we face when driving at night, please visit the National Safety Council.