Risk management

Defensive driving

Be extra careful at night

You must use all of your defensive driving skills when driving at night. More accidents occur at night than any other time of day. The reason is simple: It is much harder to see at night, and much harder to react quickly when you do see a hazard. 

Here are some defensive driving tips to use while driving at night:

  • Keep windshield clean to improve vision
  • Turn lights on 1/2 hour before sunset
  • Increase following distance to 4 seconds
  • Be extra careful on curves and at intersections
  • Switch from high to low beams to keep from blinding other drivers
  • If you have trouble, pull completely off the road and use flashers

Driving at night adds extra hazards and is often more stressful. To reduce the risk of having an accident when driving after dark, be sure to take these precautions.

First of all, start with a clean windshield and clean rear and side windows to improve vision.

Next, turn your lights on one-half hour before sunset—or earlier if it’s a dark day.

Increase your following distance to 4 seconds at night.

Be extra careful on dark curves and at intersections.

Be a courteous as well as a safe driver by switching from high to low beams if there’s a car in front of you or one coming toward you. If a driver coming the other way isn’t so courteous, look briefly off to the right side of the road to avoid the blinding glare.

If you have car trouble at night, pull completely off the road and use your emergency flashers. You should also have flares or fluorescent triangles in your vehicle that you can use so oncoming traffic is aware of your position.

Driving at night can be dangerous, and many accidents occur after dark. Do you always take these precautions when driving at night?

Ask others to describe the extra precautions they take when driving at night.

Insurance products and services are offered through Markel Specialty Commercial, a business division of Markel Service Incorporated, policies written by one or more Markel insurance companies. Terms and conditions for coverage may vary by state.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.