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What makes night driving challenging for truck drivers?

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | Truck Accidents |

Driving at night might seem more welcoming for you, especially if you are a night person. The roads have less traffic, so you do not worry so much about another vehicle hitting you. However, many big commercial trucks have night routes, so it is still possible you could encounter one of these vehicles and suffer a collision if the truck driver is not careful.

As Truckers Insider points out, nighttime driving presents a number of challenges to truck drivers. Any of these issues may endanger you if you happen to be driving close to a truck when a mishap occurs.

Changes in sleep pattern

Truck drivers who begin their night shifts probably had day shifts to start out with but they now have to change their sleep patterns so they sleep during the day. This might leave truckers fatigued as they try to adjust. It is possible you might encounter a trucker who is new to nighttime driving and is too tired to notice your vehicle.

Encounters with dangerous drivers

If you are out on the road, you have a greater chance of encountering a driver who has had too many drinks. Drunk drivers can pose a threat to you and also to truck drivers. A trucker might try to avoid an erratic drunk driver and in the process could collide with you or other nearby motorists.

The lack of traffic on the road might also motivate people to drive past the posted speed limit. This can be particularly dangerous if a truck driver decides to drive fast and comes up behind you with little time to slow down before a possible collision.

Sudden animal encounters

The darkness of the night makes it harder to see the sides of the road, which can obscure animals like deer that may leap out onto the road. A trucker who is not driving carefully may see the animal and panic, swerving to avoid it but could end up hitting other drivers who are nearby.

Stay safe during night driving

Truck drivers have an obligation to drive safely during night hours. This includes obeying the traffic laws and making adjustments to account for the challenges of nighttime driving. Still, if you have to drive at night, make sure your vehicle has working headlights so you stand a better chance of spotting a reckless driver before an accident has the chance to occur.