There are several perks to night driving, but it also can be more dangerous. Three times more crashes happen at night than during the day. If you’re headed out for a late shift, here are 7 things you need to know about night truck driving.
- YOUR BODY’S NATURAL RHYTHMS ARE AT A LULL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.
Typically, your energy and alertness will drop in the early morning hours. This is particularly true for drivers who don’t typically drive at night.
- YOUR VISIBILITY IS WEAKENED AT NIGHT.
Unfortunately, humans just don’t have amazing night vision. At night, your peripheral vision will not be as good, and you can’t see as far ahead of you on the road. That makes it hard to see animals who jump out at the last minute. It also means your response time to other drivers and events on the road is likely to be a little slower. Leave yourself extra space whenever possible.
- TRAFFIC IS USUALLY LIGHTER.
Much of the world works a 9-5 job, so if you’re night driving, you will rarely have a problem with traffic. Even congested urban areas are often not a problem when you’re night driving. That said, the other drivers who are out are also at a low point of alertness. Keep your distance and drive defensively. You never know what other kinds of drivers are on the road.
- YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN WHEN NIGHT TRUCK DRIVING.
Most dispatchers and customers aren’t operating 24/7. Typically, that means less after-hours assistance if you run into trouble or need last minute directions to your client.
- KEEP YOUR WINDSHIELD, HEADLIGHTS, AND MIRRORS CLEAN.
Glare can be a big problem for night truck driving. Luckily, a little glass cleaner and elbow grease usually does the trick.
Similarly, try not to look closely at oncoming traffic. The bright white lights will temporarily impair your vision. Look slightly down and to the right (or at the white road line) to avoid the negative effects.