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Did you know that the second-most dangerous time to drive is at night between 7 – 10:00 p.m.? Although, on average, people only do one quarter of their driving at night, around 50% of all traffic deaths occur during this time. If your job entails driving at night or for long distances – for example, a rideshare or delivery driver – it’s important to keep reading these 5 tips to stay safe while driving at night.
1. Be Alert, Aware, and (Extra) Defensive
Before you begin driving, make sure that you are well rested and alert. Driving at night requires a heightened sense of awareness of the road as there is limited visibility. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and able to make quick decisions.
Additionally, the risk of encountering drunk drivers increases significantly during nighttime hours. There are nearly four times more fatal crashes due to alcohol at night than there are during the day. So while you always want to be a defensive driver, be particularly cautious around your fellow drivers after sunset.
2. Take Breaks When Needed
Be aware of your body’s limits. It is recommended that you stop every two hours to rest, even if that means a quick stretch or walk around. If you start to feel drowsy, it is best to pull over and take a nap rather than risk driving while drowsy. The National Sleep Foundation advises getting seven or more hours of sleep per night and not driving if you have been awake for 16 hours or more. For more information on safe driving visit the National Safety Council website.
3. Maintain Your Vehicle
It is important to check your vehicle before getting behind the wheel to make sure everything is working properly. The crucial items to check are your headlights and tail lights as those are the most important tools while driving at night. Check your headlights, taillights, windshield, windows, and side mirrors to make sure they are free of debris and in a good condition to drive. View this vehicle maintenance checklist for more information.
4. Keep Your Vehicle Mirrors & Windows Clean
When driving at night you want to make sure all aspects of your car are clean and your vehicle has been properly maintained. Cleaner windows and mirrors will lead to better situational awareness. The last thing you want is not being able to see or distinguish incoming lights because your mirrors are tilted or your windows are obstructed.
5. Limit Distractions
Talking on the phone, listening to the radio, drinking, and eating can all distract you from driving safely. Let your family and friends know your schedule and plan to check your phone during a stop. In many states, hands-free bluetooth technology is required when operating a vehicle. Be sure to know your state laws and those of the state(s) you may be traveling through. Keep both hands on the wheel at all times and consider keeping your phone in the glove compartment until you reach your destination.
Society Has the Safety Tools to Keep Your Business Going
Whether your fleet is for delivery, service or something else, we customize your business auto coverage around how your operation runs for a smooth ride. Follow these tips during your drive at night to arrive safely at your destination. To learn more about how Society Insurance can help your business mitigate risk, consult with a Society agent in your area.