Night shift blues: Most U.S. drivers concerned about driving after dark

Bruce Brown
Night shift blues: Most U.S. drivers concerned about driving after dark
U.S. drivers increasingly feel uncomfortable about driving at night, according to an online survey conducted for Sylvania. Major reasons for concern are difficulty seeing hazards, distrust of other drivers, and discomfort from other vehicles' lights.

Do you find that more and more, you’d rather not drive at night? If so, you’re not alone. U.S. drivers are increasingly uncomfortable and concerned about nighttime driving, according to an online survey conducted for Sylvania Automotive Lighting.

Among the top reasons for nighttime driving discomfort were difficulty seeing hazards and other drivers (28 percent), discomfort with other vehicles’ headlights and brake lights (26 percent). and decreased trust in other drivers‘ abilities at night (25 percent). Overall, 70 percent of the drivers surveyed reported feeling “increasingly concerned about driving at night in the U.S.”

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The survey, which was conducted online for Sylvania in June 2016 by KRC Research, received responses from approximately 100 American motorists. While 70 percent said they were concerned about nighttime driving, that didn’t mean they all didn’t drive at night. However, 62 percent, still more than half, responded that they “occasionally avoid driving during evening hours.”

“Do you want to see better when driving at night? Most people answer yes but do not know there are choices and don’t act on it if they do know,” said Sylvania marketing manager Brian Noble. “Headlights are an active safety item and the first line of defense on a vehicle, especially during evening hours, when roads are dark and dangerous. If drivers cannot see objects on the road, they cannot react. Every second counts and can make all the difference. If you can see an object sooner, you can make a better decision.”

Since Sylvania is in the automotive lighting business, including replacement lights, the survey also explored headlight maintenance. The survey revealed the belief, shared by 83 percent of the respondents, that “better down road performing headlights” correlated to driving safety, and revealed that 63 percent believe changing headlights is a valuable precautionary measure. However, only 34 percent have ever swapped out for new headlights and 63 percent felt that if a headlight burned out, they would only replace that one, not the pair. Replacing both headlights at the same time is the safest practice.