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Traffic Safety Tips


Nearly 90 percent of driving decisions are based upon what a motorist sees while driving. At night, a motorist vision is reduced. To drive safely at night, slow down and drive within the range of the vehicles headlights. A motorist should always be sure the vehicle can stop within the distance that he/she sees ahead. Your response to hazards is slower because you cannot see what is beyond your headlights. You can reduce the danger if you adjust your driving habits accordingly. Following are suggestions for safe driving at night:

• Look slightly to the right of oncoming lights and watch the road edge or fog line. This will help guard against headlight glare.

• Check your headlights, taillights, and turn signal lights often to make sure they are working and lenses are clean.

• Be careful when passing at dawn or dusk. If an oncoming vehicle does not have its headlights on, you may not see it until it is too late.

• Be alert for bicycles and pedestrians as they are harder to see especially if wearing dark clothing.

A motorist should always consider the following factors when driving at night:

  • • Speed

• Reaction distance (distance traveled before hitting the brake)

  • • Braking distance (distance needed to completely stop vehicle)

The table shows the distance the average motorist will need to stop while driving at a designated speed using low beams at night. Numbers are based on a motorist reaction time of 1.5 seconds. A vehicle travels 88 feet per second at 60 mph. Deceleration is 14 feet per second.

Other safety rules for driving at night are:

  • • Drive with headlights on at dusk, night, dawn, on dark days and whenever weather conditions reduce visibility to less than 500 feet.
  • • Drive more slowly than during the daylight.
  • • Watch for road signs, slow-moving or unlit vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and animals.


Night Driving Table




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