How to stay safer on the roads at night

Perhaps you regularly drive at night in heavy traffic with other tired, distracted drivers at the end of a long day. Or, maybe you drive at night on nearly abandoned roads where you go hours before seeing another vehicle. Both scenarios come with hazards that are less common in the daytime.

You can do a few things to help minimize your risk of costly accidents and injuries on the road at night in the dark.

Clean your windows and mirrors

Whenever you embark on a drive in the dark, clean your windows thoroughly beforehand. Light from traffic lights, street lamps and headlights from other cars that catch on smudges on the windows can cause light streaks that distort your vision.

Use your high beams safely

High-beam headlights lights illuminate more of the road in front of you and the area surrounding the road. The extra light lets you see hazards ahead of you sooner, giving you more time to respond. Many animals are frequently active and night and dart into the road. The added light from high beams may allow you to see them along the side of the road before they run out in front of you. Take care to turn off your high beams for oncoming traffic so that you do not blind other drivers.

Stay alert

Drowsy driving frequently causes accidents that would be otherwise avoidable. Driving at night comes with natural fatigue. Listen to loud music or an interesting podcast, drink caffeine or talk to a passenger to keep yourself alert and aware of the road.

It is good practice to ensure that your headlights, brake lights and turn signals work properly before driving in the dark. The more visible you are to other vehicles when braking, turning or changing lanes, the better.