37% of people have fallen asleep while driving. On top of that, 60% of people have driven while tired, 13% report falling asleep while driving at least once a month and 4% have caused crashes by driving while tired. These incidents don’t just happen on long road trips – it can be when you’re driving home from a long day at work; maybe you didn’t sleep well and are tired driving to work early in the morning. It’s important to be aware of any fatigue and address it before it causes a crash.
With the shorter winter days coming our way, keep these nighttime driving tips in mind to keep you awake, alert and safe.
5 Tips for Driving in the Dark:
- Make sure you have clean headlights and windshield; debris on the headlights or windshield can make it harder to see at night;
- Look away from oncoming lights;
- If needed, wear glasses and ensure your glasses are anti-reflective;
- Dim your dashboard lights; if they are too bright, they can be distracting; and
- Slow down and allow additional time for stopping.
4 Tips for Driving in the Dark during Rush Hour:
- Slow down and be patient; we know you want to get home but we want you to get there safely;
- Avoid excessive passing and be alert to other cars who may dart in and out of lanes;
- Avoid cruise control and stay alert; driving the same route every day can become routine but force yourself to stay alert and active as you drive; and
- Avoid distractions; try to look at a map ahead of time, rather than while you’re driving; avoid your phone, eating or drinking. Distractions can be even worse when driving in traffic in the dark.
3 Tips for Long Distance Driving in the Dark:
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep and avoid driving if you have been awake for 24 hours or more;
- Stop, stretch and rest every 2 hours; and
- Travel only during times that you are usually awake.
Despite the fact that we only drive in the dark one-quarter of the time, 50% of traffic fatalities happen at night. Remember these tips and follow them to keep you, your family and other drivers safe.