According to a study done by the US National Library Institute of Medicine under the National Institutes of Health, a disproportionate amount of all automobile accidents in America occur after daylight hours. The study attributes this to a number of things, such as reduced lighting, fatigue, alcohol, and traffic density, contribute to drivers lessened ability to avoid car accidents at night.
- Avoid Poorly Lit Areas When Driving at Night
Of course this is not always possible, but it is your greatest chance of avoiding accident. The study mentioned above focuses on poor lighting, suggesting that it is the main contributor; it advocates increased lighting across the United States, saying it would effectively decrease the rate of after dark accidents by three times. Staying away from these areas that lack sufficient lighting could potentially likewise decrease your likelihood of collision.
- Adjust your Headlights to Suit your Driving Conditions
Headlights can droop or be incorrectly positioned, or even be uneven. You want to manually make sure that not only are they pointed correctly for your purposes, i.e., if there is excessive fog, but that they also aren’t aimed in a way that will make driving difficult for those you share the road with.
- Reduce Interior Lighting
New cars tend to be outfitted with many brightly glowing gadgets. Gadgets, like the radio, can be very fun to use. But, the lighting they provide can dull your vision of the space outside your car, and additionally may distract you. If you can turn down the lights, do so.
- Look Away
Bright, pretty lights can be intoxicating, especially if you are in that zombie state that precedes sleep. Snap out of it. If you stare too long into a bright light, you’ll see spots that will obstruct your vision, much like when you stare into the sun. Look Away!
- Watch for Movement
Animals on the side of the road can be hard to spot. Your eyes are equipped with a special capability to capture movement over color; when you are scanning the side road for animals, don’t look straight at an object, but slightly to the side, and try to detect movement.
- Make Sure Your View is Clear
If there is additional grime or dirt on your mirrors, windshield, or windows, scrub it off. Move anything that may obstruct your ability to check blind spots in your vehicle, including passengers–just ask them to switch seats.
- Adjust all Mirrors as Necessary
If you share your vehicle with anyone else, you may not notice it immediately, but they may have adjusted the mirrors to fit their needs. Change them so you are better able to see.