A truck driving job will require you to do a lot of driving at night in order to make a delivery on time. In fact, some drivers even prefer it because the roads are more open. Even so, night driving comes with a lot of setbacks and risks you need to be aware of. With the vision impairments and accidents associated with night driving, truck drivers should take the following into consideration.
Avoid Overdriving the Headlights
The term “overdriving” refers to when you’re driving so fast that your stopping time is farther than you can see with your headlights. This is dangerous, especially when you’re in a semi-truck. Make sure that your truck’s headlights are clean and properly rotated so their beam of light shines as far as it can. Also, learn your approximate stopping time in relation to how far your lights illuminate in order to avoid overdriving.
Don’t Look Directly at Other Sources of Light
Oncoming headlights and other bright light sources can end up temporarily blinding you to the road and what’s ahead. Be sure to avoid looking directly at these.
When you’re going through lighting changes (from a well-lit, populated highway to one that is much darker) allow your eyes to adjust before increasing the speed at which you’re traveling and use your brights if you’re away from other vehicles.
Watch out for Wildlife
Your headlights can pick up the retinas of animals before your eyes can register their bodies. If you see two small glowing spots in the distance, slow down as much as you can, as an animal is most likely ahead.
Recognize When You’re Fatigued
Driving at night can be tiring. If you aren’t well rested, your driving will inherently become impaired. If you are too fatigued, find a truck stop and get some sleep — night driving is risky enough, so you’ll need all of your alertness to make the trip safely during this time.
Schedule an Eye Exam
If you haven’t done so already, it may be beneficial for you to schedule an eye exam. The frequency at which you should get one depends on your age and race. An ophthalmologist should be able to tell you what is recommended for your vision health.
Remember, traffic accidents and fatalities are greater at night. It’s of the utmost importance that you drive carefully when your vision and driving ability is impaired by the factors of the night.