Motorists continue to fill the Tennessee roadways, even after the sun sets. While you may feel comfortable driving at night, there are hidden dangers that can put you and other drivers at risk. Due to several factors, drivers are more likely to be involved in a deadly car accident while driving at night, as compared to daytime driving. It is critical that you understand these hazards, as you may be able to avoid becoming involved in a serious accident.
What to look out for
Although the streets are illuminated with headlights and streetlamps, a lack of natural light presents issues for many drivers. Not only does the darkness affect depth perception and peripheral vision, but it can hinder your ability to decipher objects, read signs and react to certain situations.
For example, it is more difficult to judge the distance and speed of oncoming traffic while you wait to make a turn onto a busy roadway. This is especially true for drivers over the age of 50 years old, as they require twice as much light to see properly in the dark than younger drivers, as reported by the National Safety Council. Older drivers may suffer from cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma, which can complicate matters further.
How to minimize the risk
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of getting into an accident. These include the following:
• Make sure your headlights work properly
• Avoid driving while drowsy, distracted or drunk
• Use your brights if possible
• Avoid looking directly into oncoming headlights
• Wait until you are sure the coast is clear
In addition, you should always be ready to react to animals in the road, stop signs, pedestrian crosswalks, bicyclists and other cars.