Many truck drivers make the conscious choice to drive at night. The road is inevitably less congested, they can finish quicker— and maybe even collect a bonus for finishing in a time crunch. But, night driving comes with its own set of risks. From the drivers side, to other motorists— there are a few more factors to consider when it comes to night driving and tractor trailers. So we’re going to break it down from you and help you understand the in’s and out’s of night driving for tractor trailers.
The Risk and Reward of Night Driving for Tractor Trailers
First things first, I want you to understand that there are plenty of positive reasons for truck drivers to operate at night. For one, there are less people out on the roadways. This makes for a less stressful drive, and more room for them to operate comfortably. There is also typically less of a wait for fueling up, and less weigh stations are open— so, less stops, and less time spent on the ones you have to make.
Not to mention, some companies offer an incentive for jobs finished in a time crunch. So, it can potentially make for a more profitable, safer endeavor. But, that is if things go perfectly as planned. In short, there are a few ways that night driving can be hazardous for the truck drivers and for other drivers on the roadway.
Then what makes it so dangerous?
For starters, truck driving is a pretty tough job. You’re stuck in a car all day and it’s easy to fall into a lull. Having traffic present is a great way to break yourself out of the lull, because you have to be extremely alert. But, for drivers who decide to go at night— they have a mostly open roadway. While this is a potential up-side, it can also be a risk. It’s much easier for drivers to fall into a sort of trance when their defenses don’t have to be so high. Also, fatigue is much more likely in those driving at night. Think about it, you’re skipping the normal sleep cycle in order to keep going. This, combined with an empty roadway has the potential for disaster if you aren’t able to stay awake.
One factor of night driving that can’t be ignored— is low visibility. When you’re driving at night, especially on dimly lit roads— you can’t see quite as well. This can be dangerous in a numb er of situations ranging from a car without headlights, to a rogue deer. Wildlife can come out of nowhere when you’re driving— especially in more rural areas.
Construction is also more likely to be performed at night, which can be both negative and positive for truck drivers. For one, you will likely run into more of it. But, on the other hand— less cars on the roadway means less waiting to pass construction.
Ultimately, every driver has to calculate the risk of their decisions. Night driving might be ideal for some, and an absolute no-go for others. But, it’s important to understand the added risks that come with doing so. That way, you can make sure you avoid the circumstances. We wish you luck and safe driving for your travels!