There are a number of factors that contribute to the high nighttime accident rate, things like drowsy driving and a higher rate of impaired driving. Decreased visibility is also a major contributor to the higher accident rate.
Nighttime driving has the effect of reducing 20/20 vision to the equivalent of 20/50 vision. What you can clearly see at 50 feet in daylight can’t be seen until you are just 20 feet away at night.
And because accident avoidance is dependent on reaction time our ability to react quickly deteriorates measurably in low light conditions.
One thing we can do to improve visibility is to make sure our headlights are as bright as they can possibly be. Headlamps dim over time and so gradually that you may not notice it. Many experts suggest replacing your standard or halogen headlamps once a year. This once-a-year expense is very modest compared to the safety benefits.
Many vehicles on the road have dirty headlight covers. To address this, periodically wipe your headlights off with the window washer when you stop for gas.
Plastic headlight covers can yellow or become hazy over time. When this occurs you’ll need to have the lenses polished or replaced.
For top visibility it is critical to keep your windshield clean and streak free when driving at night. Make sure you have plenty of washer fluid and that your windshield wipers are in good working order.
Replacing wiper blades twice a year in the spring and fall is highly recommended. Fall is also a good time to replace headlamps so you’ll be ready for those long winter nights.
Beck’s Auto Center is happy to help you replace or upgrade your headlamps to give you better nighttime driving visibility. Just give us a call at 765-447-9459.