As daylight gets shorter, there is one thing on my mind when I’m driving in the dark…….
I’m always mindful that they could come out of nowhere and cross my path at ANYTIME…especially now that we have less daylight.
When I was a kid, I used to think that you only saw deer way out in the country. I also thought that every deer crossing sign had a red reflexive nose. I didn’t realize that our area had creative pranksters until years later, but now I actually appreciate their creativity.
I was reminded once again that kamikaze deer can strike at any moment, even in suburbia. I was following my dad’s vehicle leading out of his suburban neighborhood in the dark at around 7 pm and a kamikaze deer came out of NOWHERE between the distance of our two vehicles. I slammed on my brakes and thankfully just barely missed him, but I would have liked to have been aware of his presence a lot sooner!
I was used to thinking about deer a few hours later, not that early, and not in a neighborhood.
So what can you do to make nighttime driving safer?
- Keep up on vehicle maintenance. Make sure that you are getting an oil change every 3,000 miles.
- Check your tires. Make sure that your tire pressure is set to the manufacturer’s recommendation and check your tread. You want a good grip when colder temperatures approach and you are faced with ice and snow.
- Check your windshield wipers and fluids. The clearer your windshield the better! You don’t want to discover that you ran out of fluid during a snowstorm or that your windshield wipers are streaky.
- Keep a cell phone charger in your vehicle at all times so that you can make a call in case of emergency.
- Be mindful and attentive to look to see what’s ahead of your vehicle on both sides.
- If you get sleepy while you are driving, get caffeine at the nearest exit. Walk around and do a few stretches. If you are still really tired, don’t risk it by driving. Find a safe place to sleep because it’s not worth it.
- Change both of your headlights at the same time and clean your headlight covers for optimal viewing.
My family takes a lot of roadtrips and we don’t slow down just because we don’t have as many daylight hours.
That previous encounter with a deer was in the back of my mind as I was thinking about our next trip.
There is a stretch of highway about an hour from Louisville that I’ll refer to as “deer alley.” This 60 mile stretch of highway has multiple deer crossing signs along the way and the remains of multiple deer along the road that have collided with vehicles as you drive.
I always have that in the back of my mind when I think about taking a trip somewhere, but I don’t want night driving to ever keep me from an adventure.
Before our roadtrip to Louisville, Kentucky, we decided to change out our headlights because we knew that we would be making the drive home in the dark. My husband changed our headlights out in the parking lot while we were waiting for our food to arrive at a local restaurant. He didn’t need tools and completed the task very quickly.
On our way back home, I noticed a BIG difference with the range of vision after the new SYLVANIA SilverStar® ULTRA headlights, halogen headlights were installed. I was in charge of driving the whole way back and it was a relief to see more of the road and also no sign of deer.
The ability to see more of the road because of brighter headlights made me feel so much safer!
Do you have a lot of upcoming roadtrips or evening activities?
The SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting #TravelSafe campaign seeks to inform Guardians of how important safety is during this busy travel period.
Do you need to change out your headlights?
You can find the SYLVANIA headlights that are best for your vehicle from their website.
Thanks again to SYLVANIA for sponsoring this post and reminding us to stay safe on the roads.