October is one of our favorite months, thanks to Halloween. We love seeing the little ghosts and goblins visiting each family’s car at the annual Trunk or Treat events at our church and other churches in the Florissant area. Normally, we would write a blog on Halloween driver safety, but we thought we’d take a different approach: The Top 10 Tips for Driving Safely at Night.
After Daylight Savings Time ends, we all have the extra hazard of driving in the dark when we get off work. Two of the biggest accident days of the year occurs when the time changes. So, let’s share some helpful safe driving tips:
Look around. Before backing out of your parking space, turning a corner, or crossing an intersection, be sure you take a good look around to avoid pedestrians, bicyclists, animals, and other distracted drivers.
Drive slowly. At night, it’s harder to see people who are wearing dark clothing, or animals that are crossing the street. When you drive slowly and cautiously, you’ll have more time to stop your vehicle to avoid a collision.
Don’t pass stopped vehicles. If a vehicle is stopped in front of you, trust that there is a good reason for them doing so. When you pass a stopped vehicle, you may hit their exiting passengers, collide with a person in the crosswalk, or run over someone’s pet. Be patient, take a deep breath, and wait for the vehicle in front of you to move again when it’s safe.
Park your phone. You don’t need the distraction of your phone, so you should put it away. Seriously, don’t text and drive. To reduce temptation, but it in the passenger seat behind you where you cannot reach it so easily.
Watch for darting children or animals. Kids and animals, unfortunately, have a bad habit of darting out in front of vehicles. If you see a child or animal dart out in front of you, we hope you are driving slowly enough to come to a safe stop way in advance of a collision. Also, if you see wildlife cross the road, like deer or geese, be sure there isn’t a fawn or gosling close behind.
Yield to pedestrians. We understand that you’re in a hurry, but pedestrians have the right of way. Be kind to small children, bicyclists, distracted teenagers, and elderly folks crossing the street.
Signal your intentions. If you want to make a turn, use your turn signals to notify the drivers and pedestrians around you. Make eye contact with pedestrians approaching the intersection you’re about to cross. If you see a hazard up ahead and need to make an abrupt stop, turn on your hazard lights as soon as you can. You can clearly communicate with everyone around you through the use of light signals, eye contact, lightly tapped horns, polite gestures, and rolling down your window to talk with those around you.
Check your brakes. When was the last time your brakes were inspected? Are your brake pads worn down? Are your rotors and sensors in top condition? A simple brake inspection can prevent minor and major accidents from happening, day or night.
Check your tires. Your tires are just as important as your brakes, and they should be regularly inspected. Is your tire tread thick enough, or is it worn down? Are your tires wearing evenly? Are your tires in good enough shape that you can stop without sliding or losing control? A lot is riding on your tires, so check them every time you get in your vehicle.
Check your headlights. If your headlights are working, that’s great. But what if your headlamp goes out? What if your headlight lenses are yellowed and cloudy? You lights should shine bright and help you avoid objects, people, animals, and unexpected items in the road in front of you.
When you want to drive safely, both night and day, come in and see us at Gary’s Auto Service. Your safety is very important to us. Schedule an appointment online or call us directly to schedule a safety inspection for your vehicle. You’ll be glad you did as our days get shorter and our nights get longer.