Feature

Tip of the week: How to drive safely at night

Listen to the GPS; Make sure you can see and be seen; Slow down

Listen to the GPS. “Driver distraction is a factor in 16 percent of fatal collisions.” Before you put your car in drive, dim the GPS’ display or turn it from view because its “brightly lit” screen can pull your eyes from the road. Follow the system’s voice commands if you need directions while in motion.

Make sure you can see and be seen. A major reason nighttime driving accounts for just 25 percent of road travel but 49 percent of fatal collisions is that darkness impairs vision. To see well and be seen, squeegee your headlights every time you stop for fuel. It only takes “a bit of road grime” to reduce their brightness.

Slow down. Even the cleanest headlights illuminate “just 160 feet or so” in front of the car. If you’re traveling at 50 mph, you need 268 feet to stop, so reduce speeds at night and “be on the alert.”

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

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