Proper speed, rest and lights: the keys to reducing the risk of accidents at night
On October 28 winter time begins, a part of the year when it gets dark earlier, and hazards on the road increase.
Sunday, October 28th is the date slated for the second time change in 2018, with the winter schedule going into effect. That morning, at 3 o'clock AM, clocks will need to be set back one hour, to standard time. That night we will gain 60 minutes of sleep or rest, and thereafter it will be dark in the middle of the afternoon. Driving with less light requires being more alert and following a series of recommendations to reduce the risk of accidents.
According to LeasePlan fleet data analysis, last year 13% of the total amount of accidents took place in night-time, between 20:00 in the afternoon and 8:00 in the morning. Furthermore, the number of people run overs was 4% night-time and 1% day-time.
In light of this figures and with the aim of improving drivers’ safety, LeasePlan offers a series of tips aimed at removing some of the most common mistakes drivers make on the road during winter evenings and nights:
• Lighting systems: the best tool to deal with the darkness. To get the most out of this device it is advisable to use the most advanced technologies: smart, xenon or LED headlights; night vision... also, it is best to start using them one hour before sunset. At the same time, drivers should turn off any interior lights, because when on they creates a greater contrast between the interior and exterior, reducing our visibility.
• Rear view mirrors: Being blinded when driving at night is very common. To be respectful and avoid creating dangerous situations behind the wheel, one has to know when to use his dipped headlights, high beams, and fog lights.
• Speed: If visibility is reduced, slow down. This rule must be applied when driving, in addition to increasing your separation from other vehicles, to have a greater reaction time in the event of a potential accident. Under rainy circumstances at night, speed can highly affect driver reflexes and road visibility.
• Stop: If you are going to take a long trip, and prefer to do so at night, you should make stops every hour and a half to avoid exhaustion and eye fatigue or itchiness.
• Cleaning the windows: keeping rear windows and windshields clean gives the driver better visibility and also prevents problems with glare.
• Traction system: The temperature of the asphalt drops in the winter, which can cause patches of ice to form at night. An integral traction system provides greater safety during night-time driving. Under these conditions one should turn the steering wheel very gradually, and maintain a constant speed.