Approximately 49% of accidents involving fatalities happen at night, and with the shorter days of winter, good visibility on dark roads and freeways is especially important. At night, your vision is limited—depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision are diminished—presenting a different set of challenges than driving during the day. The following list offers tips for truck driver safety during the hazards of nighttime driving.
- Check your headlights. It doesn’t seem like much, but cleaning the dirt and film off your headlights can help improve your visibility. Also make sure your headlights are optimally aligned. When you’re doing your best to see and be seen, every little bit helps.
- Keep your eyes moving. Scan the road ahead for hazards like stalled vehicles and small animals or deer. Because your vision isn’t as good as it is during the day, it’s particularly important to be on the early lookout for anything that might require you to brake or change lanes.
- Increase your following distance. Increasing your distance by three to five seconds can make it easier to spot potential hazards and give you additional time to respond.
- Prevent fatigue. You’re at an increased risk for drowsiness when driving in the dark, especially for long hours, so it’s important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Listening to talk radio or music can keep you engaged, but still allow you to concentrate on the road ahead. Also keep your vehicle well-ventilated and take occasional refreshment breaks.