Nights are getting longer and longer as we are in the midst of winter. And longer nights usually mean more time indoors and less time driving in the evenings. However, there are circumstances where driving at night is necessary, especially if you work the night shift in your current job.

There are specific dangers that come with driving at night, so drivers must know what to watch out for during their nighttime commute and how they can avoid potential accidents or severe injuries.

Nighttime hazards for drivers

One of the most prevalent hazards for drivers is compromised vision in the dark. It’s especially true for older commuters because as we age, we have more difficulty seeing details in the dark. It increases the risk for people to hit animals who are crossing the road or other vehicles.

Another major problem that comes with driving at night is the possibility of fatigue. The National Sleep Foundation stated almost 60% of drivers are tired on the road and another 37% will fall asleep at the wheel. Even losing a few hours of sleep could lead to a serious car crash during the morning or afternoon commute.

Finally, longer nights mean most commuters will be driving in the dark at some point in their day, whether it’s early in the morning or late into the evening. Rush hour is already a dangerous time for most drivers, but the risks only increase when rush hour is in the dark, so drivers need to be wary before rushing home after a long day at work.

Staying safe, even in the dark

There are ways to protect yourself, even driving around at night:

  • Make sure to use your headlights correctly and keep them clean
  • Clean your windshields regularly
  • Slow down to compensate for limited visibility
  • Have annual eye exams
  • Minimize distractions
  • Don’t drive if you’ve been awake for more than 16 hours
  • Don’t go on autopilot, even during your daily commute

There are so many more ways to be a defensive driver at night, but your best strategy is to stay alert. The more aware you are of your surroundings, the more likely you will avoid any major accidents or severe injuries.