Driving at night is a high risk activity. It’s dark and the artificial light from road lamps and headlights are no substitute for sunlight. People are driving on the road in a fatigued and drowsy state. You as a trucker must be alert, both to your own driving mistakes and to those of others on the road. As trucking accident attorneys, we want your night driving to be as safe as possible. To that end, here are three tips for safer truck driving at night:
Guard Against Your Greatest Enemy: Fatigue
It isn’t your steering wheel, brakes, horn, or lights that keep you out of trouble, it’s your head. Driving smart and staying focused is the key to staying safe. However, fatigue incapacitates the brain. It compromises the very thing that keeps you safe. Above all else, you must avoid fatigue by getting plenty of sleep each night and taking periodic rest breaks whether you feel tired or not. At the first signs of fatigue, waste no time looking for a safe rest area to pull over for a rest stop. Take a nap, then follow it up with some walking and a cup of coffee.
Protect Your Night Vision
Depending on your age, it can take up to several seconds for the pupils of your eyes to recover from glare. Turn off the interior lights of your cabin and keep the dashboard lights dim. Avoid looking at the headlights of oncoming traffic by looking at the right edge of your lane. Remember to keep your windshield clean on both the interior and exterior surfaces because dirt and smudge increase traffic glare.
Another helpful tip is putting on sunglasses before entering a lit building such as a roadside diner. Remember to take them off when you get back into your truck.
Give Yourself More Reaction Time
The reduced lighting and the potential for fatigue at night decreases your reaction time to traffic events. Compensate for this by reducing your speed and increasing your following distance. Allow yourself more than enough time to react and stop your truck. You can estimate the time you have to react by counting off the number of seconds it takes for a roadside sign to reach your front bumper from the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of you.
If you or a family member has been injured in a trucking accident and need an accident attorney, Lewis & Keller can help you get the compensation you deserve. We represent accident victims in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Contact us today for a free consultation.