After record-breaking heat across the country this past summer, it’s hard to believe that many parts of the country will soon be experiencing cold weather. But October is here, which means snow, freeze warnings and earlier sunsets are upon us.
With daylight saving time nearing its end, it’s important to make sure your employees prepared to drive in the dark. Did you know?
- 4x more crashes happen at night even though there’s 75% less traffic
- 13% of drivers admit they fall asleep behind the wheel at least once a month
Even more alarming, many truck drivers don’t know night driving safety as well as they should. One of the top Google searches related to truck driving at night is, “at night how should you adjust your following distance cdl?”
According to the National Safety Council (NSC):
- Only 25% of driving takes place at night
- But nighttime is when 50% of traffic deaths occur
- A familiar road is just as dangerous as an unfamiliar one
- Night driving collisions occur just as often on short trips as long ones
- Most crashes and near-misses occur between 4-6 a.m., followed by midnight to 2 a.m.
All-too-common night driving dangers
Judging vehicle speeds at night is incredibly difficult (if you think otherwise, check out this video to test your skills). Our eyes can also play tricks on us in the dark. A motorcycle or small car can be “hidden” in the headlights of a larger vehicle.
A major cause of nighttime driving incidents? Inexperience. Drivers unaccustomed to driving at night:
- Have trouble judging other vehicles’ speeds and distances in the dark
- Can’t recognize the signs of fatigue
- Don’t know what to do if they feel sleepy
- Make simple but dangerous mistakes like failing to remove streaks from their windshield and forgetting to remove dashboard clutter that obscures vision/reflects in the windshield
Night driving safety tips
Make sure your drivers know how to protect themselves and others when driving at night by sharing the following tips:
- Clean your headlights and ensure they’re aimed correctly
- Dim your dashboard lights and display screens
- Avoid staring at oncoming headlights
- Ensure you’re up to date on your annual eye exam. If you do wear glasses, choose anti-reflective lenses
- Combat fatigue by getting seven or more hours of sleep
- If you are drowsy, always pull over to a safe place to rest
- Lower your speed to account for reduced visibility
- Be on the lookout for impaired drivers, as you’re far more likely to encounter them at night
Enrolling your drivers in ongoing training is another great way to ensure your drivers are ready to hit the road in the dark. SambaSafety’s online driver training courses are the most convenient and effective way to teach drivers about best practices for night driving. We offer an 11-minute lesson on the topic that can be completed on a computer or mobile device covering:
- Common night driving hazards
- Collision avoidance
- How to cope with fatigue
- Dealing with low visibility
Has your company considered implementing online driver training, but aren’t sure where to start? Download our helpful guide to discover the six questions you should ask when researching driver training technology.