Even on familiar roads, motorists should use caution and watch for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists, who will be less visible when night begins to fall. AARP urges all drivers to consider the link between night visibility and safe driving.
If you have trouble seeing well at night, get your vision checked, and consider taking a driver safety course to learn how to compensate in dark conditions.
Follow these tips to reduce your risk of driving accidents at night:
- See and be seen. Get your headlights checked, and while driving, turn them on one hour before sunset and keep them on one hour after sunrise to ensure maximum visibility.
- Stay alert on the road. With reduced visibility, it's important to lower your speed, pay extra attention, and maintain a three-second following distance.
- Recognize and prevent drowsiness. Darkness can cause drowsiness, so run errands in the morning when you are fresher and more alert.
- Avoid sun glare. You may need to adjust to early morning or late afternoon sun glare, which can cause reflections off car windows and hoods and decrease your visibility.
For more helpful information and coaching, visit the AARP Driver Safety Program online. Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the program has given its refresher courses to more than 12 million people nationwide. The no-test courses update drivers' skills and knowledge of relevant laws, and the training includes strategies to help motorists compensate for age-related changes that affect driving ability.
Driver safety courses also include a section on assessing driving abilities. The results of such an assessment may be the occasion for having an honest talk with yourself or a loved on about the wisdom of continuing to drive. Consider your own safety and that of other drivers and pedestrians.
Depending on insurance providers and state regulations, graduates of the AARP Driver Safety Program courses (both the classroom and online versions) may be eligible to receive discounts on their auto-insurance premiums. All participants should check with their insurers for further details.