It’s not just paranoia. Driving at night is actually more dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the risk of fatal accidents at night is three times higher than during the day.

The main reason for this is that it is not surprising that we can not see well in the dark, says Alex Epstein, Director of Transportation Security at the National Security Council. “Time to stop.” Ironically, some types of light, such as glare, can complicate matters.

But other factors add to the difficulty of driving at night. Here are 12 tips to help reduce your risk.

1. Be extra protective

According to the NHTSA, drinking and driving are more dangerous at night than during the day. Of course, never sit behind the wheel after a drink, no matter what time of day it is (do not drive while lying down); but at night it is a good idea to put your defensive driving instincts on high alert.

2. Combat fatigue

Side view of a young man with glasses sitting in his car yawning.  One hand on the mouth.  Bright lights in the background.Sleepy car crashes are likely to occur between midnight and 6 a.m., according to the NHTSA. So be careful during these hours that there may be sleepy drivers on the road և be vigilant. Drink some caffeine, relax in a safe place or stay overnight. Some drivers have reported other actions that may help. radio connection (not too high); periodically roll windows for fresh air; Talk or sing to yourself.

3. Clear your point of view

According to the NHTSA, a dirty or damaged windshield can scatter light ոտ potentially enhancing the glare effect. The group also reports that dirty or damaged headlights can reduce your visibility and glare at oncoming drivers. So, regularly clean the headlights and windshield; You can use a special cleaning kit for headlights.

4. Avoid highways with two lanes

The NHTSA says two-lane highways could be the “worst case scenario” for nighttime traffic lights due to oncoming car headlights, general low light, and the fact that these roads tend to have steeper curves than hills. If you can, take a safer route at night.

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5. Slow down

About 37 percent of night-time driving accidents are due to speeding crashes, according to the NHTSA, compared with 21 percent of those during the day due to lower visibility and shorter response times. For example, your headlights usually shine in front of you 160 feet away, but even at 40 mph you need 190 feet to stop. Adjust your speed to take into account conditions such as visibility, says Ras Rader of the Institute for Highway Insurance (IIHS).

6. Angle your headlights correctly

If the beams are too low, you will lose some of the light you need while driving. But if they are tilted too high, they can blind oncoming drivers. Annual inspection tests in some states include headlight angle testing, but otherwise take the initiative to make sure yours is in the right direction. “This is not usually a DIY project,” says Rader. “Consumers should go to their car dealer or repair shop for help.”

7. Use high beams when convenient

High beams are rarely used, Rader says, but can be very useful in rural areas or on open roads. Just remember to darken them when you are 500 feet away from the oncoming car (so as not to temporarily blind the other driver); do not use them if you are behind another car. If you are in the market for a new car, Rader recommends looking for adaptive lighting systems that automatically adjust your high beams depending on the availability of other cars.

8. Adjust your interior lighting

If the lights on your panel are too bright, looking at the dark path from the panel to the front can be distracting, says NSC Epstein. “Turn off the interior lights at night so that the critical controls remain easily visible but not distracting,” he advises. “And use your visors at night to protect yourself from the street lights.” Many new cars, he adds, have mirrors that automatically dim the reflections of bright light.

9. Look in the right direction

“Or you should always keep your eyes on the road, avoid staring, never look at traffic lights,” says Epstein. As you approach the oncoming car, avoid blinding its headlights by tilting your eyes inward և using the right side of the road or lane markings as a guide to stay on the road. Look back at the oncoming car.

10. Watch For Wildlife:

Deer illustration in front of the car.Clashes with deer often occur at dusk or at night, and are more common between October and January. Your high beams can help you spot the animal’s bright eyes. When you see them, the safest way to avoid an accident is to slow down and stop, not to deviate.

11. Take care of your eyes

Check your eyesight every year, the NSC suggests. glare becomes more problematic for people with age. You may need another prescription at night.

12. Try և use your lights

Periodically test all your lights, including low beams, high beams, daytime running lights, turn signals և brake lights. And be sure to use your headlights to stay visible; not only do they need to be turned on in the dark, but they also need to be turned on in adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow or hail.

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By Katrina Brown Hunt