Some people are very particular about driving at night. If they know they’ll be late because of a party, they would rather take the cab than drive their own car. If they will work late, they’ll commute than take their car. This fear is not irrational. It’s not paranoia. There is statistics that back this fear. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that driving at night is more dangerous because we can’t see clearly, whether it refers to vehicles on the road or criminals who want to pounce on unknowing drivers.
Some drivers believe that others should see into their cars, so they know if something bad is going on inside. But the opposite may actually happen. If you do not have solar film applied to your car windows, people may see through your car and plan their attack. This is what happened in many garage- and parking-lot-related attacks.
Criminals see an opportunity to attack a victim because he or she is usually driving alone at night. They can see through the car windows that the drivers are all alone, passing through narrow and dark streets. It’s very easy for them to apprehend your car, acting like they were in an accident. In reality, they want something else. And because they can see you don’t have anyone with you, it’s easier for them to target you as prey.
The NHTSA said that driving between midnight and 6 a.m. is the most dangerous time to drive. Those on the road are usually tired from working all day. Be aware that when you come from work or a party during these hours, there are sleepy drivers on the road. You might be one yourself.
Try to gauge your reflexes. Can you still react quickly when something happens on the road? Drink coffee or pull over to get a shuteye. A few minutes will do you good. Don’t drive when you know you aren’t ready to take on the road. Do things that will wake you up such as singing to yourself, turning the radio on, and rolling down the windows to get some fresh air.
Adjust your speed to take into consideration the weather and the time of the day. The NHTSA said that 37% of fatal speeding-related cases happened at night. About 21% happened during the daytime. This is because of lower visibility and shorter reaction times. Some drivers go faster at night because they are rushing home, and because this is the only time that there is no traffic on the road. Finally, you can feel your car’s power beneath you.
But if you drive like this at night, there’s a good chance you’ll get into an accident. Maybe it won’t be your fault because you have good reflexes. Other drivers, however, may not have the same reflexes as you.
Do you have emergency supplies in your car? You need a flashlight, spare tire, some car tools, and a well-charged phone. Try not to drive at night when your phone is dead. It’s difficult to ask for help when you do not have a phone. Car chargers usually can’t power up a phone running on an empty battery. Make sure to charge your phone for at least 10 minutes before leaving the office. Put it on low battery mode if you are outside and can’t charge from an electrical socket.
How sure are you of your nighttime vision? Your contact lens and glasses may work during the day, but that doesn’t mean it will work at night. Nighttime vision is tricky. Get your eyes checked regularly, so you know what kind of glasses you need at night. You can ask your ophthalmologist and optometrist for different prescription glasses at night.
Eliminate distractions in your car. Texting, eating, and fiddling with the car radio while driving are no-nos. Taking your attention off the road is dangerous, especially at night. It’s not just the hefty fines that you should avoid, but also the possible loss of life that you can cause because you took your eyes off the road for a split second.
If you are not sure about your capacity to drive at night, leave your car in the office parking lot. Make sure to tell the guard that you’ll come back for it the next day. Most parking lots operate 24/7 anyway, so your car and whatever’s in it are well-protected. It’s better to pay for an overnight parking fee than endanger yourself and the other drivers on the road.