Statistics show that nearly half of all traffic fatalities occur in the dark. This despite only a quarter of journeys being undertaken in darkness. Our biological clocks are set so we naturally feel sleepier at night, yet it’s not just this that presents a danger.
Driving tired is just as dangerous as driving drunk and slows our reaction times dramatically. Our judgement of speed and distance can also be drastically affected. Since trucks cover a long distance in a short time even just nodding off for seconds can have fatal consequences.
There are of course many external hazards when driving at night. Poor visibility affects depth perception, colour recognition and peripheral vision. This can lead to much shorter time to react to pedestrians or wild animals appearing before us than in daylight hours. Therefore the speed at which you drive should be adapted compensate for this.
Other road users are also more likely to be tired, or even be driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs at night. Statistics show that even though driving under the influence differs from country to country it is generally more common at night, as are accidents related to this.
Before setting off on a night time journey, make sure that you are properly rested. Check that your headlights are in full working order and that your windshield is clean. When on the road, always drive at a speed that feels comfortable to compensate for limited visibility and the other extra challenges.