In the coming weeks, as the end of October nears, Connecticut will be getting fewer and fewer daylight hours. Drivers will need to adjust, as at some point they are more than likely to be commuting in the dark in the winter months.
Spending more time driving in the dark is more dangerous, according to the National Safety Council. Some of the reasons drivers face increased risks for accidents during darker hours are the following:
- Darkness impacts drivers’ depth perception.
- Darkness impacts drivers’ peripheral vision.
- Darkness impacts drivers’ abilities to differentiate colors.
- Drivers are more at risk of being blinded by bright headlights in the dark.
- Older drivers, especially those over 60, often have compromised night vision.
Tips for driving in the dark
Some tips you can follow to avoid an accident during dark evenings in the late fall and winter include the following:
- Get a yearly vision check, especially after age 40, so you know if you need glasses or a new prescription to improve your vision.
- If you are getting a new pair of glasses, get lenses that come with anti-glare protection.
- Regularly clean your windshield and check that your headlights and taillights are working.
- Minimize your distractions and avoid driving after drinking alcohol.
- Reduce your speed, so you have more time to react to your surroundings.
Fighting nighttime fatigue
Drivers also are more likely to experience fatigue in the evenings and early morning hours, when it’s dark outside. This is especially true in the weeks after Daylight Saving Time ends on Nov. 1. Drivers are more tired after a disruption in their sleep schedule.
If you find yourself nodding off, having a hard time keeping your eyes open or drifting out of your lane, you should stop and rest. You don’t want to end up in an accident because you’re tired and it’s harder to concentrate and see in the dark.
Finally, drivers may want to avoid nighttime driving as much as they can if they are very concerned about increasing their accident risks. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to driving at night.