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Driving at night can be dangerous, risky and deadly

Winter can bring with it many obstacles when it comes to driving. Whether it be snow, ice or just extreme cold. But another danger that comes with winter is extended hours of darkness. Even if you are not a night person and do not like to go out at night, you may still need to drive in the dark on a commute in the morning or after you leave work.

The National Safety Council reports that drivers are three times more likely to be in a crash at night. What can you encounter while driving on a cold dark night in the winter or at any time during the year when it is dark out? Here are a few things to be aware of and watch out as a night driver.

Reduced Visibility and Glare

The mix of a dark night and bright lights from cars can easily play tricks on your eyes. If you are on a two-lane road going around a curve with a large tractor-trailer coming the other way in your direction, you can easily be disoriented. Drivers may tend to speed a little faster at night due to light traffic, but this can prove to be dangerous if light or glare suddenly blinds you.

Drowsy drivers

Darkness naturally brings on a sense of rest or sleep. Truck drivers on long hauls or just people going home after a hard day at the office can exhibit extreme fatigue. Besides other drivers, if you feel too drowsy to drive, there is no need to fight it. Pull over and rest or gather yourself before you get back on the road.

Drunk drivers

Most people who are driving impaired by drugs or alcohol are driving at night. If you have been drinking and question your ability to drive, regardless if it is day or night, you should find someone else to drive you.

Obstacles, animals and debris

Typically, while driving at night, you can only see about 250 feet in front of you and 500 feet if you have your high beams on. This means if there is something in the road and you are traveling at a high speed, you may not see it in time before you hit it. Or worse, you swerve to miss it and lose control of your vehicle.

Road construction crews

Many times, to get work done on time or as a way not to disrupt morning commutes, construction crews will work at night. This can cause lanes to be closed or the need to take you on unfamiliar detours. Driving through a construction zone can also be dangerous with bright lights, loud machinery and poorly marked roads distracting drivers.

If you find driving at night to be difficult, you should abstain from it as much as you can. You may want to check with your doctor to see if you suffer from nyctalopia, or night blindness. Otherwise, use extreme caution while driving at night and never take any undue risks.

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