Union Leasing's priority as a fleet management company is not only to get the vehicles quickly and cost efficiently to our partners, but it is also to continue to monitor the safety and well-being of the fleet throughout the duration of the lease. A huge safety concern for many fleets is the alertness and quality of their employees driving at night, so we have created a checklist to make sure your entire team are well-informed on the subject, and most importantly, keeping them safe.
First Things First
Adjust your Normal Driving Mannerisms
While many people typically have their routine when it comes to driving, its important that those routines be altered in darkness. If you're someone that drives close to the person in front of you, or someone that drives a mile or two over the speed limit during the day, it's important to Increase Distance and Reduce Speed at night time. This will allow you to swerve or avoid when an unexpected event happens in front of you.
Fatigue is a Factor
The Sleeping Giant
When we drive at night after a long day at the office or the job site, tiredness or fatigue impacts the way we drive. As you would expect, study's show that an accident caused by Drowsy-Driving typically happen between sunset and sunrise. The obvious solution is to stop for the night or at least pull over to a rest bay, but that is not always an option. Some other ways to fight fatigue when driving at night include:
- Adjusting the Radio volume to alert you
- Talking out-loud to yourself or to someone else over hands-free
- Rolling the windows down to let air through and change temperature inside the vehicle.
However use caution when implementing one of these techniques, because...
Distractions are Heightened in the Dark
No matter the time, taking your attention off the road is obviously dangerous...however when driving at night you've got additional risks to think about. For one thing, you're much more likely to collide with an animal at dusk or at night, and coupled with the fatigue previously mentioned, you reaction time may not be at a premium. Using your high beams - when appropriate- will aid in your ability to see the eyes of a deer or raccoon, which will stop you from swerving at the last minute and allow you to come to a slow halt. Avoid texting or using your smart phone as much as possible also.
Visibility is Key
Clean Your Windshield, Windows, Mirrors etc.
Speaking of high beams, its important those, as well all other driving aids should always be in clean working condition when the sun goes down. Here's some things to remember:
- Check Headlights/Taillights/Turn Signals are functional, bright and aimed properly
- Reduce Dash Light Brightness, see manual in glove compartment to find out how
- Clean Windshield inside and out, as if dirty may result in glare and prove more difficult to see through,
- Turn your lights on before sundown, aiding other drivers
Pedestrian Look Out
Visibility does not only include your vehicle and its windows and lights, it also refers to pedestrians being visible, or yourself being seen on the side of the road. Be sure to double check for pedestrians while driving, turning or crossing an intersection, as with less daylight and maybe people wearing dark clothing, its hard to spot walkers. Furthermore, in the event you need to pull over, make sure to have your hazard lights on and stay inside your vehicle.
Your Eyes are Key
You cannot help if an oncoming vehicle has bright lights, but you can avoid looking directly in them. Try gazing down to your right, focusing on an object to the right of the road to keep you straight. Finally, and this goes for driving during the day and night, get your vision tested each year, and be sure to tell your physician that you drive at night, as you may require a different prescription.
We hope you found this checklist informative and worthy of sharing with your drivers.
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