Dangers of Nighttime Driving
Driving at night has its drawbacks such as night blindness, vehicles without lights and the prevalence of drunk drivers. Another very serious consideration is the risk you run of breaking down in an unsafe area in the middle of the night. There have been incidents of breakdowns where people have been victims of crime.
“While there is no way to predict the likelihood of your car letting you down, there are a number of things people can do to avoid being a victim of crime should their car fail them, particularly at night when there’s less traffic on the road,” says the AA.
Here are some safety precautions motorists can follow should they find themselves in trouble:
- If the problem is a flat tyre, and if your car can still move, continue driving for as long you can until you get to a safer place like a petrol station
- Make sure you inform at least one friend or family member about your situation and exact location • If you have a family member or friend who stays near to the location of the breakdown, contact them for assistance because any service provider would require time to respond to your request for assistance
- Sit in your passenger seat with your hazard lights on, it will look as if there is more than one person in the vehicle
- If you feel unsafe in your vehicle, get out and look for a place to hide but make sure you still have a clear view of your vehicle for when help arrives
- Should you be confronted by attackers, do not resist. If they ask for your cell-phone, wallet or money, hand it over without any resistance
- If offered assistance by a stranger and you accept a lift, leave a visible note in the car giving details of the person such as; make of their car, their registration number, a cell number as well as where they are taking you. This information will be important in case you are involved in an accident or if that person has other intentions
- Lock all valuables in the boot so they are not visible to potential thieves.
“The best defense against these kinds of situations is to try to avoid driving at night and have your car serviced regularly so it won’t let you down when you are most vulnerable. If you do have to drive at night, try to have someone with you in the car so that if anything happens, you are not all by yourself,” concludes the AA.
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1126