As the days become shorter, and there are more hours of darkness, drivers in Virginia need to practice extra care on the road. Nighttime poses risks that are not present during the day, so drivers should follow certain tips to stay safe. 

The National Safety Council discusses some risks drivers should be aware of while driving after the sun has gone down. These include 

  • Rush hour 
  • Fatigue 
  • Impaired drivers 
  • Compromised vision 

At night, drivers have more difficulty seeing peripherally, perceiving depth and recognizing certain colors. There is also less time to react, as drivers can only see 250 feet in front of them. High-beam lights help in that they double visibility, but it is still less than during the day. 

As evening rush hour is now even more dangerous than normal, there are certain things drivers can do to combat the extra risk. Reducing speed and refraining from changing lanes can help. Drivers should also refrain from distractions such as drinking, eating or using the phone. 

Very Well Health outlines additional tips for night driving. One is to make adjustments, such as using the rearview mirror night setting to deflect glare and to turn eyes to the side of the road to avoid temporary blindness.  

It is a good idea to prep the vehicle to keep risks to a minimum. Make sure the windows, especially the windshield, are not streaky, and clean all exterior lights. Interior lights should be in the off position, and dim the dashboard to improve vision.  

It is very important to avoid driving while tired. No one should get behind the wheel if they have not slept in over 16 hours. It is a good idea to stop and rest every once in a while, and taking a short nap is ok if drowsiness hits.