Driving at night can mean poorer visibility and sleepiness, but it can also mean fewer cars on the road. Many motorists assume that there are fewer dangers on the roads at night because there is less traffic, but this is not the case. In addition to the unique risks of this time, truck drivers trying to make deadlines may be driving at night, and you may be less visible than a large big rig.
If you’re sharing the road with tractor trailers and 18-wheelers at night, you need to do everything possible to make sure truck drivers can see you. You can do this when you:
- Avoid driving when you’re sleepy or have had any alcohol. In addition to making sure truck drivers can see you, you need to ensure you are focused enough to see trucks and other dangers on the road. In fact, since most people are naturally sleepier at night, you might want to avoid driving at night entirely. If you cannot, at least make sure you have had adequate rest and are alert. Never drive after having any medication which can impair your ability to drive or after having any alcohol.
- Use your headlights and make sure they work properly. Check to make sure they are bright and not obscured by mud or debris. In addition, check that glare does not affect you inside the car.
- Understand the dangers of your driving. Slow down and use extra caution when driving in bad weather. Map your route and note if there is any roadwork or any other obstructions where you will be driving. Where your route allows, stick with larger, well-lit streets where trucks will see you.
- Prepare for the unexpected. In addition to more trucks on the road, night driving can also mean you may encounter more animals near or on the road. Poorer visibility can mean you don’t notice obstructions in advance, so slow down and be ready.
- Drive defensively. You may not think you need to drive defensively since there is less traffic, but continuing to drive defensively allows you to prepare for the unexpected and keeps your focus on driving, which helps you stay alert.
- Make sure you are ready for the added dangers of night driving. Not being able to see as well, glare, wildlife, possibly more truck traffic, and other hazards are common at night. If you are a new driver or haven’t been on the roads at night for a long time, consider a refresher class before you attempt night driving. It does require a different set of skills.
If you are injured in a car crash caused by someone’s negligence, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Homestead trucking accident attorney. Our law firm serves injured people in Homestead, Hollywood, Miami, and across South Florida. Your consultation is always free and comes with no obligation.