night time driving

How to Stay Safe When Driving a Car at Night

Whether you avoid driving at night when possible or you regularly hit the road after dark, it’s important to prioritize safety. Nighttime accidents are common, but often avoidable. The human body naturally wants to rest at night, causing drowsiness that may make you a more unsafe driver. As long as you know the challenges you face while driving at night, you can take steps to keep yourself and others safe.

Have you been injured in a car crash? You could be entitled to compensation from the liable party. Find out now by calling Peake & Fowler at 803-998-2412.

Proper Rest and Nutrition

When you know you have a nighttime drive approaching, ensure that you sleep well the night before—that means at least eight hours, although some people need more to feel rested. If possible, take a brief nap before your drive for an extra boost of energy. However, avoid napping too close to your drive time so you don’t experience any residual grogginess.

You should also be cognizant of what you eat before a nighttime drive. You know that your body will already be pushing you to sleep during your drive—having a heavy, rich meal will only make that sensation worse. Stay hydrated and rely on light, refreshing snacks to keep your energy levels high during the drive. While caffeine can temporarily keep you awake and attentive during a drive, don’t rely on it as your only source of energy. Any caffeine you consume should be in addition to good rest, not a replacement for it.

Vehicle Inspection

Give your vehicle a quick inspection before you leave for the night. While stopping by the road for an unexpected breakdown is always inconvenient, at nighttime it can be downright dangerous. Not only do you risk being hit by someone who cannot see your car on the side of the road, but you may also be targeted by dangerous people.

Spend some time checking the various components of your, including your headlights, brake lights, taillights, and turn signals. This extra step also ensures that you can see clearly while driving, helping you prevent accidents. Use a tire gauge to verify that your tires are at the proper level of inflation and check them over for any punctures or leaks. For an added layer of security, check your route before you leave so you know where the nearest mechanics are on your drive.

Route Review

Don’t rely solely on GPS and navigation apps while driving. You never know when your Internet will stop cooperating, and you don’t want a short delay in directions to leave you in a tailspin. Briefly reviewing your course before you leave can give you a general sense of where you’re going and allow you to check out any points of concern before you get behind the wheel.

You should also use this time to check your route for late-night fast-food restaurants, 24-hour gas stations, and rest stops. If fatigue sets in during your drive, it’s good to know where you can stop for a snack, a cup of strong coffee, or a 20-minute power nap.

Promoting Wakefulness and Attentive Driving

Staying awake during a long nighttime drive is a challenge. Giving yourself extra time and watching for signs of fatigue can help you stay safe. To stay awake and attentive while driving, we recommend:

  • Scheduling breaks: Don’t try to power through a long drive just to save a little time. Frequent breaks where you can eat, drink, and stretch your legs can help you stay awake.
  • Limiting distractions: You have to find a middle ground here. Mildly interesting podcasts or audiobooks can help you stay awake and focused, but anything so gripping that it takes your mind off the road can be a danger.
  • Taking extra breaks as needed: You’re tired, but your next break is an hour away—what should you do? Always allow space for unscheduled breaks. It is better to arrive at your destination a little late rather than risk falling asleep behind the wheel.

Injured in a Crash? Call Peake & Fowler Today

Nighttime collisions can be devastating, leaving victims with serious injuries and major financial losses. If you’re ready to pursue compensation for your car crash, we’re here to support you. Call us at 803-998-2412 or contact us online to get started now.