As the days grow shorter, Illinois drivers will spend more time driving in the dark on their commutes, especially on their way home from work. This added darkness puts you at a higher risk of getting into a car accident.

Unfortunately, daylight saving time makes it nearly impossible for you to avoid driving in the dark. But what makes driving at night so dangerous?

Reduced visibility

Even with headlights and streetlights, driving in the dark significantly decreases visibility. This can make it more difficult for you to see road signs, other drivers, road debris or animals.

Reduced visibility can also make rush hour treacherous. With crowded roadways, slow traffic and impatient people, darkness is just an added obstacle that can make it more difficult for you to see and react to potential hazards.

Night blindness

Many people have night blindness, which is trouble seeing in low-light conditions. Navigating busy roadways with compromised vision can be difficult and dangerous.

Even if you don’t have trouble seeing in the dark, bright headlights can cause temporary blindness. They can also create reflections on your windshield that make it harder for you to see.

Staying safe while night driving

You may not be able to avoid driving in the dark. But there are measures you can take to protect yourself from getting into a car accident. Here are some things to remember to keep yourself as safe as possible on your commute:

  • Don’t drive distractedDistracted driving is a year-round problem. However, driving in the dark can make it harder to react to the traffic around you. Make an effort to minimize distractions so you can stay focused on your surroundings.
  • Check your headlights — Make sure your headlights won’t burn out while you’re driving. Not only does this reduce your ability to see, but it makes it harder — if not impossible — for other drivers to see you.
  • Schedule an eye appointment — Consider making an appointment with your eye doctor so you can address any issues that might make it difficult for you to see in the dark. Your improved eyesight could help you get home safely.