Tips for driving safely at night

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

When navigating Missouri’s roadways at night, using extra caution can help you avoid accidents. Driving at night comes with unique challenges when compared to driving during daylight hours. Lower visibility can make it difficult to see other vehicles or obstructions in the roadway. Plus, when you drive late at night and early in the morning, you may be more likely to encounter drivers who are drowsy or intoxicated. While you can’t avoid all accidents related to negligent driving, you can reduce your chance of being involved in a crash by following some basic night-driving safety tips.

Driving at night

Learning defensive driving techniques is beneficial no matter what conditions you’re driving in, but defensive driving is especially helpful after dark. Avoid driving drowsy or after drinking, which are both contributing factors to many nighttime accidents. Drinking a caffeinated beverage can help wake you up, but if you’re still drowsy, pull over in a safe area to rest.

Maintaining your vehicle can help you drive safely at night. Be sure your headlights are in good working order and your windshield is clean. Use your high beams when appropriate to enhance your field of vision. Be sure to dim your lights when you’re within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle to avoid affecting their view. Don’t use your high beams when following another car as this can impact their ability to see and drive safely.

Watch for others

Be extra cautious of other drivers exhibiting behaviors that indicate fatigue or intoxication. This may include weaving in and out of lanes, stopping or speeding up abruptly, or not following traffic signs or lights. When possible, move away from a driver if you suspect he or she is dealing with intoxication or fatigue.

Other drivers aren’t the only obstacle you may encounter on the road at night. Many types of wildlife are more active during the nighttime and into the early morning hours. Watch closely for deer and other large animals that may try to cross the roadway in front of you. When possible, try to slow down or stop rather than swerve to avoid a collision with a deer or other animal.

Help after an accident

Driving at night can be challenging, even for the most experienced Missouri drivers. With less visibility comes a slower reaction time, which can prevent you from avoiding another vehicle or obstacle on the road. Negligent drivers, especially those who are drowsy or intoxicated, can cause serious injuries to others. If you’ve been injured in a crash where another driver’s negligence was a contributing factor, you have the right to seek compensation from that driver.

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