At night it is more difficult to judge speeds and distances as the visibility is poor. The glare of oncoming traffic can also blind you, making you lose concentration. Driving at a controlled speed can help you stop in time to avoid an accident.
According to a survey, death rate due to accident fatalities at night is three times more than that in the day.
With full darkness many of the "cues" a driver would normally depend on in daylight, are not available. Vision is limited to a relatively small area illuminated by the headlights. Because of this it is more difficult to use the eyes properly due to the shortened seeing distance ahead.
The problem of driver fatigue is increased by darkness because greater effort is used in attempting to gain the necessary visual information and a higher degree of alertness is required to interpret this information.
There are many hazards associated with driving at night and most of us don’t know of ways to deal with them. The primary reason why night driving is so dangerous is darkness. Ninety percent of a driver’s reaction depends on vision which is severely limited at night.
Depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision are compromised after sundown. The more your age, the lesser is your viewing capability at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year old.
Fatigue is another major contributor towards danger when driving at night. Weariness slows the reaction time and lowers the concentration level.
Clean the headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows (inside and out) regularly.
Have your headlights properly aligned. Ill-aligned light beam blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.
Alcohol severely impairs your driving ability. It also acts as a depressant. Just one drink can induce fatigue.
Avoid smoking when you drive. Nicotine and carbon monoxide hinder night vision
Being seen is as important as seeing. Do throw the main beam whenever under doubt about something on the road. This might hamper your visibility but the oncoming traffic will be able to see you clearly.
Increase your ‘trailing’ distance when following a vehicle since it is difficult to judge a vehicle&rsquo s speed and distance at night.
When following a vehicle, make sure that you do not use high beam as it can blind the driver in the front.
If the oncoming traffic does not lower its beam then to avoid glare, watch the edge of the road and use it as a steering guide.
Stop regularly and treat yourself to light snacks and energy drinks to maintain the concentration levels. Also do some stretching exercises to flex your body muscles.
Twilight is one of the most difficult times to drive because your eyes are constantly adjusting to the changing and dying intensity of light which ultimately results in darkness. Practice utmost caution while driving during this period.