While operating a motor vehicle, in general, requires focus, concentration and a number of finely honed skills, all Tennessee drivers know that night driving comes with its own challenges. In fact, some people avoid driving at night whenever possible, simply to avoid the potential dangers. Driving in the dark means reduced visibility, greater chance of driver fatigue and increased possibility of encountering impaired drivers. As daylight hours decrease at this time of year, an AAA representative has offered a few tips to help night drivers stay safe.

Drivers who fail to get enough sleep prior to getting in their vehicle put themselves and others at significant risk. According to research, the crash risk for drivers who are operating on fewer than five hours of sleep is comparable to that of a drunk driver, and even drivers who have missed an hour of sleep the night before driving double their chances of being in a collision. To help prevent drowsy driving, avoid heavy foods before driving and stay away from medications that could impact one’s ability to stay alert. And, of course, get a sufficient amount of sleep before long drives.

Many drivers, especially seniors, find night driving difficult because of reduced visibility. AAA recommends drivers decrease speed when driving in the dark and also increase following distance. As well, people should periodically check their headlights for wear and tear and replace or repair them as necessary, since aged headlights can greatly reduce visibility. Drivers should also be continuously scanning the road ahead for lights, moving objects, etc. Finally, if a vehicle with high beams approaches, drivers may be able to avert their eyes toward the right of the road for a moment until the vehicle passes.

Driving comes with a sense of responsibility to keep the vehicle’s occupants and other people in its path free from harm. Many Tennessee drivers may find night driving makes this job a little more difficult, but those who follow these tips can help ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safely. In reality, no matter how responsible a driver, other drivers’ actions can be unpredictable, and collisions still happen. If the gathered evidence indicates a victim’s injuries resulted from the negligence and/or recklessness of another person, an experienced personal injury attorney can be a valuable resource.