Night driving has its benefits such as a less crowded road which means fewer traffic jams and better gas mileage. For most truck drivers however, its hazards outweigh the benefits. These hazards include poor lighting which restricts your vision, drunk and tired drivers sharing the road with you, and the fact that your body is wired to sleep at night. To help get you through your night driving safe and sound, here are four night driving tips that commercial or owner operator truck drivers in South Carolina should keep in mind:
Allow Your Eyes Time To Adjust To The Darkness
The eyes require several minutes to adapt to the darkness. This is the time required for the pupils to open up to allow more light into the eye. When leaving a rest stop, allow some time for this adjustment before driving. Some drivers wear shades before entering a building so that their night vision isn’t affected. Just remember to take them off before driving. While on the road, avoid looking at headlights by looking down the center of your lane or at the right edge of the road.
Slow Down And Increase Your Following Distance
Even if you have fast reflexes, night driving will reduce your effective reaction distance because you can’t see very far. While there’s no problem seeing tail lights from a great distance, an animal, runner, or bicyclist will be nearly invisible. This means you should never overdrive your headlights. Night driving also reduces your depth perception which is why you should increase your following distance.
Clean Your Windshield, Lights, And Mirrors
Dirt, smudges, and even tar from cigarette smoke on the inside surface of your windshield increases road glare. Keep the inside and outside of your windshield clean for better visibility and easier driving at night. Dirt and dead bugs on your headlights reduce their brightness. Therefore, keep them clean and check their aim. Keep your other lights clean as well so that others on the road can see you more easily.
Stay Alert And Awake
You can only drive safely at night when you are well rested. An occasional coffee helps to keep you alert but shouldn’t be relied upon for staying awake. A sufficiently sleep deprived person can easily fall asleep halfway through a cup of coffee. Alcohol, certain medications, and very large meals will make you sleepy. Stay alert and watch out for drunk and tired drivers.
While night driving isn’t easy, it can be safely done by exercising caution and common sense. For information on safe truck driving and truck insurance, please contact us.