Whether for work or leisure trips, there are times when you have to drive at night and it is necessary to understand that the risks increase compared to the journeys that can be made during the day. Specifically, there are two dangers that characterize night traffic: visibility and fatigue.
This first factor is decisive for safe driving, since both seeing behind the wheel and being seen by other drivers favors prevention and anticipated maneuvers to avoid accidents. There are a number of elements of the vehicle that allow us to improve this capacity, like the lights, but you have to keep them in good condition and make the necessary revisions and changes to do so.
On the other hand, fatigue is a phenomenon that affects the physical capabilities of the driver to stay safe behind the wheel. It is important to detect the symptoms of it and not rush driving: it is better to stop to rest than to force yourself to continue and cause an accident.
The symptoms that serve to detect fatigue at the wheel are: drowsiness, headache, neck or neck; itchy eyes, continuous change of position in the driver’s seat, feeling very hot, thirsty or sweaty in the hands and increased consumption of cigarettes, sweets or sweets.
Taking advantage of the change of season and that the nights are gradually getting shorter, The General Directorate of Traffic offers the following advice for those who have to circulate after sunset.
To improve visibility
- Turn on the lights when there is a considerable decrease in sunlight.
- Reduce speed up to 20% with respect to the permitted speed, because when driving with low beams the area illuminated by the headlights may be much less than the stopping distance.
- Use low beams when crossing another vehicle. If you are dazzled, use the line to the right of the road as a guide.
- Pay close attention to rainy nights, as mud and dust splashed quickly accumulate on the vehicle’s headlights and turn signals, reducing visibility by up to 50%. Stop often to clean.
- If you need to stop on the road, look for a straight section with visibility, placing turn signals and warning triangles. Exercise caution when getting out of the driver’s seat, as well as prevent rear passengers from getting out of the vehicle through the left door, doing so through the right door.
To fight against fatigue
- Carry the vehicle ventilated, directing the air outlet from inside the vehicle towards the body and arms, never the eyes.
- Listen to the radio or music.
- Stopping every 2 hours or whenever fatigue or drowsiness is observed, doing breathing exercises or walking to regain the necessary ability to drive.