The Longest Night of the Year

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Nighttime Driving
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Dec 22 2015 / By DriveitHOME

The Longest Night of the Year

Every year, during the winter months, we expect longer nights that arrive earlier. Yesterday at 11: 48 PM ET, the winter solstice arrived. That means today has least amount of daylight and the most darkness of any other day in 2015—the longest night of the year.Winter driving brings new challenges to teen drivers, not all of them weather related (and so far this year, most of the country is experiencing a very mild winter). Early nightfall is also part of winter driving. That means that your teen has a different experience on the road at 7PM in December compared to the same time in July.It’s important to keep that in mind, especially since night driving continues to be a particularly dangerous time for teens to be on the road, increasing their crash risk by as much as three times.When nightfall arrives earlier, familiar roads and traffic patterns may seem less familiar. The darkness can make pedestrians harder to see. If you live in an area with wildlife, you know animals like raccoons, skunks and deer can dart across the road without warning. Now add reduced visibility to that risk. Teens should be aware of the change and adjust their driving accordingly.The statistics tell us that the hours between 9PM and midnight are the most dangerous for teens on the road. Those are important numbers to know, especially if your teen has a job or is involved in sports or other activities that end later in the evening.Help your teen build night driving experience. You can pick your teen up from work or practice, but get out and let them take the wheel for the ride home. You can assess your teen’s night driving skills and offer assistance where they need work—and encouragement on the stuff they’re doing right.One more thing… since the holidays are almost here, we want you, your family and friends to stay safe when you’re out on the roads. The National Safety Council is estimating that this year’s holiday weekend could be the deadliest on record since 2009. Remember to buckle up, refrain from driving while distracted or impaired and drive defensively. Pass it along to your teen driver—and any family, friends or loved ones who will be on the roads. Stay safe and have a happy and healthy holiday season!

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