Many Americans need to drive at night for their jobs. This includes more than 3.5 million truck drivers. While driving at night can be an incredibly dangerous element of the jobs that require it (the risk for fatal accidents is more than twice as high as night!), steps can be taken to help make it safer while on the road.
1. Keep your windshield and mirrors clean
Smears and smudges can create glares from other headlights that can inhibit your vision.
2. Wear anti-reflective glasses
If you need to wear glasses while driving, ensuring the lenses have an anti-reflective coating can make a difference in your visibility.
3. Stay well-rested (no, really)
This sounds obvious, but it does make a huge difference. Did you know that losing just two hours of sleep in a night affects your driving just as much as having three beers? Staying well-rested is one of your best defenses against accidents.
If you get drowsy while driving, pull over, and take a nap. Make sure you don’t drive on less than seven hours of sleep or after you’ve been awake for 16 hours.
Stop every two hours and get a little bit of rest before continuing. Get out of the vehicle, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air.
4. Keep your headlights clean
Your headlights are vital in allowing you to see as far into the distance as possible while driving in the dark, and at most, they’ll only help you see 500 feet out. Keep them clean, so they can shine bright and light your way.
Do your headlights move? Make sure they are positioned to point exactly where you need them for maximum visibility.
5. Don’t look at the lights from oncoming traffic
While you need to maintain awareness of any other driver that could pose a threat to you and your vehicle, looking into the headlights can cause temporary blindness or seeing “spots” that inhibit your vision.
Since depth perception, peripheral vision, and even color recognition are already much lower at night; your vision is already compromised. This reduces reaction time when you do need to make an emergency slow or stop. Don’t make it worse by looking into the oncoming headlights.
6. Check your brake lights & tail lights regularly
Make sure you are visible to other drivers, so there are no surprises to them when you change lanes or slow down.
If you do have an accident on the job, whether during the day or night, contact the office of OWCP Doctors Houston and find out what your options are for workers comp claims. Our medical team has your health as their top priority, and our administrative staff will be able to help you through the claims process from start to finish. Get a free consultation by calling our office today.