As part of the Gloucester Township Police Departments efforts to promote traffic safety and educate drivers on safe driving practices, we will be promoting a monthly driving topic from the New Jersey Driver Manual. With sunset arriving earlier over these next few months, this month’s topic focuses on drivers recommendations for driving at night time.
Nearly 90 percent of driving decisions are based upon what a motorist sees while driving. At night, a motorist vision is reduced. To drive safely at night, slow down and drive within the range of the vehicles headlights. A motorist should always be sure the vehicle can stop within the distance that he/she sees ahead. A motorist should always consider the following factors when driving at night:
- Reaction distance (distance traveled before hitting the brake)
- Braking distance (distance needed to completely stop vehicle)
The table shows the distance the average motorist will need to stop while driving at a designated speed using low beams at night. Numbers are based on a motorist reaction time of 1.5 seconds. A vehicle travels 88 feet per second at 60 mph. Deceleration is 14 feet per second.
Other safety rules for driving at night are:
- Drive with headlights on at dusk, night, dawn, on dark days and whenever weather conditions reduce visibility to less than 500 feet. State law requires the headlights to be on when windshield wipers are in use (NJSA 39:3-46)
- Drive more slowly than during the daylight
- Watch for road signs, slow-moving or unlit vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and animals
- Allow for more safety margins than you would during daylightAdditional information can also be found at www.njmvc.gov or by contacting the Gloucester Township Police Traffic Services Bureau at 856-374-5715 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The complete electronic version of the driver manual can be found at http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/About/manuals.htm. Paper copies can be obtained from your local motor vehicle commission facility.