Night driving can be difficult due to driver fatigue, reduced vision, drunk drivers, and wildlife. Drivers are four times more likely to get in an accident at night, the majority of the time the main cause is driver fatigue.
However, for truck drivers, there are numerous benefits to driving at night. For instance, there’s less traffic and more parking options available. While some truckers may prefer driving at night for these reasons, that doesn’t mean there’s no risk involved. Fortunately, there are a few tips that can help you minimize these dangers and make your trips at night safer.
In this article, we’ll discuss ways truck drivers can stay safe during their night trips.
Night Driving Tips for Truckers
The following are some tips truck drivers should take into consideration if they’re driving at night.
Know Your Route
A good majority of truck accidents occur when the driver is traveling on an unfamiliar roadway. There could be unexpected road work that forces you to take an alternative route or the road may end up being a lot windier than expected. In situations like these, your response time may be diminished. Moreover, the low visibility during the night also contributes to this problem.
The best way to avoid these unfortunate cases is to be familiar with your route. Knowing the route is quite easier now considering there are several applications like Google Maps and Waze. These apps will give you real-time updates and allow you to plan your route.
We also suggest keeping track of the weather and getting updates on your device. If there’s bad weather coming your way then you may want to delay your trip or take a safer route.
Keep Your Mirrors and Headlights Clean
Smudgy mirrors and foggy headlights can be a big problem for truck drivers. Dirty mirrors can cause light to be dispersed to the point your visibility is affected. Since you already have limited visibility at nighttime, your mirrors need to be spotless before you head out. Poor vision often leads to accidents and injuries.
Also, dirty headlights can make it more difficult for other drivers to see you. As dirt and other debris build up, your headlights can become dim or in other words, foggy. This can affect how far into the distance you’re able to see.
Fortunately, simple steps like caring for your truck’s mirrors and headlights allow you to have a safer journey at night.
Keep an Eye on Other Drivers
No matter how careful you are on the road, you can’t control what other drivers do. Not everyone on the road will be as cautious as you, that’s why you have to watch out and be aware of your surroundings. Also, between the hours of 12 and 3 a.m., there’s the largest number of drunk drivers on the road.
However, you can minimize this threat by using your blinker, following the speed limit, and allowing enough distance between you and other cars.
The main cause of accidents during the night is driver fatigue. You’ll have a difficult time staying awake behind the wheel if you don’t get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Although this can be difficult when you’re a truck driver, adequate sleep is important.
Driving while drowsy can impair your normal response time and increase your chances of getting in a crash. If you feel you’re becoming drowsy then find the safest place to pull over and rest. Oftentimes there are truck stops along the highway or off an exit.