Did anyone see the full moon this week? It was a beautiful sky to behold. But even with a full moon the longer nights mean increased danger on the roads.
You might think you drive just as well at night, but consider this: Even though nighttime driving accounts for just 23% of vehicle miles traveled, more than 50% of fatalities for vehicle occupants 16 and older occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Safety Commission (NSC). Those are some serious statistics that can't be argued with. You might drive just as well but most others do not. One of our Kessler Alair family of employees was hit just a few weeks ago by someone who ran a red light. It has lead to quite a few weeks of recover for her.
Because we're big advocates for safety at Kessler Alair, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at why night driving is more dangerous, and what you can do to decrease that danger for you and those in your car. We want the Inland Empire to be a safe place.
What's dangerous about night driving?
Decreased vision. We won't go into all the biological details, but different parts of the eye (such as iris, pupil and retina) work differently at night. Your peripheral vision is actually slightly improved, but it's more difficult to focus on objects ahead of you. And traveling between well-lit areas and darker roads creates issues as well. Be sure you have your vision checked regularly.
Driving too fast for your headlights. Depending on vehicle speed and headlight setting, many people “over-drive” their headlights. That means, by the time they see something on the road, it's too late to stop in time to avoid it. Teenagers are particularly inclined to do this.
Impaired judgment. Whether due to drowsiness or the use of alcohol or drugs, it appears that drivers at night often don't use good judgment. According to the NSC, 66% of fatalities at night involve vehicle occupants who weren't wearing seat belts. We know, you are tired, just want to get home to Upland or Rancho Cucamonga and you often make quick decisions without thought of the consequences. Please take a littler more time and try to get started home earlier so you are not beyond exhausted.
So what do you do?
Sometimes, there's no way around driving at night. So, whether you're just running to the store or driving a long distance, here are some tips to help you make a safe trip.
Make sure your vehicle's lights are in good working condition. And not just headlights, but turn signals, taillights, etc. Often you are the last to know that these are not working unless a kind neighbor tells you. So be sure to check regularly.
Avoid speeding. Leave a bigger cushion between you and other cars than you would during daylight hours. Leave yourself more time for the trip.
Be more aware of your surroundings. You shouldn't be using your phone, messing around with the radio or trying to find something on the floor while you're on the road anyway – and distractions are even more deadly at night. This is critical, studies show texting while driving leads to serious consequences, even death.
Of course, if you're not comfortable driving at night, the best thing is to avoid it altogether if possible. There's nothing wrong with asking for a ride from a trusted safe driver or waiting for the sun to come out!
We're open all day!
When you're driving around during the day, stop in to visit us at Kessler Alair at either our Upland location on Foothill Blvd., or our Rancho Cucamonga location at Victoria Gardens for a review of your insurance coverage. We won't keep you after dark, we promise. Just give us a call at 909-931-1500 or send us a note at insurance [at] kessleralair [dot] com. We're here to help!