Sometimes, accidents are just that — accidents — but there are still ways to diminish their likelihood, especially when it comes to navigating roads at night.
Once night falls, the likelihood of car accidents actually goes up. Despite 60 percent less traffic on the roads, more than 40 percent of all fatal car accidents occur at night, according to the National Safety Council.
How can you make sure you don’t become a statistic?
The first step might seem obvious, but it’s worth reinforcing. Combating fatigue and avoiding distracted driving in every sense will help reduce the likelihood of a crash. More accidents occur at night due in part to the fact that visibility is simply limited, giving drivers less time to react and avoid.
According to the Highway Safety Administration, drowsy-driving crashes are most likely to happen between midnight and 6 a.m. If you’re feeling less than alert, pull over. Grab a coffee. A short delay could help you in the long run.
The statistics around crashes involving deer are pretty staggering. More than 10,000 injuries every year are from crashes involving deer. The odds of a driver hitting a deer in the United States are 1 in 116, according to Petpedia.
Most collisions with deer happen at dusk or once night has fallen, and the majority fall between the months of October and January. Stay alert for deer all year, but pay extra attention during these times.
If you encounter a deer, the best course of action is to slow to a stop when possible, rather than try to swerve to avoid a deer or group of deer. When on back roads, utilize your high beams as much as possible — these are able to catch the eyes of an animal from a further distance, giving a driver more time to react.
Eyes On the Road
Get your eyes regularly checked! Lack of visibility at night is already a challenge, so don’t make things harder on yourself by letting your eyesight present additional challenges.
One of the first signs of needing glasses or an updated prescription is having difficulty seeing the road at night. Lights might look a little fuzzy, and things in a typical field of vision might be more difficult to pick out.
If you’ve noticed any of these warning signs lately, don’t wait — set yourself up for success and make sure your vision is clear.
Windshields & Lights
Speaking of clarity...keeping your windshield clear (and repairing cracks as soon as they appear) also removes a possible obstruction. If you have trouble seeing out of a damaged or smudged windshield, the damage further down the road could be a lot worse.
Regularly check your lights and ensure your high beams and regular settings are working properly. You don’t ever want to be stuck on a long drive, especially on back roads, without the tools you need to make it to your destination.
Accidents do happen, but our team is here to lessen the damage as much as possible. In the meantime, stay safe on the road. As always, if you do end up experiencing a collision, be smart and call Bart!