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How to stay safe on summer road trips when traveling at night

On Behalf of | May 12, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

It’s that time of year again! As summer approaches, you may be gearing up for outdoor cookouts, evenings at the ballpark or get-togethers with friends and family. You may also be looking forward to taking a vacation and getting some much-needed rest and relaxation. As kids are out of school during the summer months, many Colorado families hit the road and travel long distances to and from vacation destinations.  

If you’ve driven through urban areas, you are likely aware that roadways can get crowded and congested during the day. Traversing these areas of high traffic volumes will undoubtedly add extra hours to your travel time. Since roads are usually more crowded during the day, many road-trippers opt for traveling at night. However, driving at night is far different than driving during the day. What follows could help you stay safe and avoid motor vehicle accidents when driving at night. 

Clean the windshield and headlights 

It’s hard enough to see through a dirty windshield during the day. At night, however, a damaged or dirty windshield can cause more glare and increase the odds of a wreck. Also, dirty or damaged headlights can make it harder for you to see and make your vehicle harder for other drivers to spot at night. Before you hit the road, make sure to clean your vehicle’s headlights and windshield. 

Never drive fatigued 

Keep in mind that driving through the night can not only cause you to get sleepy, but also other drivers as well. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most drowsy-driving accidents happen between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. Driving while drowsy can be comparable to drunk driving. If you feel yourself starting to get tired, pull over and take a break, or have a caffeinated beverage like coffee. 

Adjust interior lighting 

Many drivers are not aware that the lights inside the vehicle can have an effect on nighttime driving. If the lights on your dashboard are too bright, it can be disorienting and reduce night visibility. Before heading out, be sure to dim the interior lights and dashboard lights in a way that the controls are still visible but not as distracting.  

Slow down and drive defensively 

At night, there is a great reduction in visibility, so it is even more important that you slow down and be a defensive driver. Recent data from the NHTSA indicated that nearly 40% of nighttime-driving fatalities are due to speeding. If you are driving too fast, you will have less time to respond if something unexpected occurs.  

The aftermath of an accident  

Summer is a time for trips, relaxation and fun with friends and family. Nothing can put a damper on this great time of year like being involved in an accident. Although most motorists are familiar with nighttime driving, accidents are more likely to happen during low-light hours. If you are in an accident and suffer injuries due to the negligence of another party, you have options available in the aftermath that could aid in your recovery.