Many professional drivers prefer nighttime driving for several reasons. There is less traffic and they can usually make better time as a result. A great deal of the increased amount of night driving during winter months, however, has to do with a reduced number of daylight hours.
According to the National Safety Council reduced night vision, fatigue and impaired drivers all contribute to making driving at night more dangerous than any other time of day.
Among the challenges professional drivers face when driving in the dark, lower than desirable vision in low-light conditions can be most frustrating, especially as drivers get older. By some estimates, a 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old.
Shift work, poor quality sleep, long hours, can all cause fatigue and drowsiness. When long hours and fatigue are combined with reduced daylight, even the best drivers face challenges.
Impaired drivers are on the road all hours of the day but most often after midnight and on weekends. While reduced traffic may convince you that you are a bit safer at night, impaired drivers certainly ruin that logic.
How do we combat these increased risks?
1) Take vision exams every year and wear corrective lenses if required
2) Pull over if you’re drowsy and don’t drive if you’ve been awake for more than 16 hours
3) Reduce your speed and reduce distractions in the cab
4) Be and stay alert and able to react quickly to changing conditions
Note: This story was provided by Safety Driven – Trucking Safety Council of BC