As the seasons change, it gets dark earlier in Florida, and this means there are more people on the road during this time. Driving at this time poses increased risks compared to driving during the middle of the day, and people should follow certain tips to stay safe.
According to Popular Mechanics, there are three times the number of fatal accidents during nighttime compared to daytime. Physically, the eyes function differently in the dark, as they are less able to distinguish color, perceive depth or see peripherally. One way to improve sight at night is to dim the lights on the dash and instrument panel. It is also a good idea to check the aim of the headlights, as some point too low or unevenly. A mechanic can help correct the aim to make it easier to see at night.
Driving in rural areas poses additional risks due to animals such as deer, raccoons and skunks. Keep an eye out for eyes in the distance so there is time to slow down or stop.
Very Well Health outlines additional safety tips for driving at dusk and in the dark. Certain techniques can make a big difference. One way to reduce glare from vehicles behind is to set the rearview mirror to the night setting. To prevent temporary blindness from oncoming cars, cast your eyes to the bottom right of the road. Reducing speed in the dark can do a lot to prevent accidents, as it increases reaction time.
Operating a vehicle at night also increases the chances of fatigued driving. Make sure to get enough sleep and take rest breaks if necessary.