What’s the risk?
Remember when you first got your licence? How you wanted to take your friends everywhere, regardless of the time of day or night? Well times haven’t changed that much and your young driver will probably want to do the same.
Driving at night is more risky than during the day for the following reasons:
- Visibility is reduced at night and so is the time a driver has to recognise and respond to potential hazards.
- With the majority of social functions also occurring after dark, there’s also a pretty good chance your young driver will be driving around after a day of study or work and potentially a bit of sport – they might not know it, but the chance is that they’ll be fatigued.
- It is important to remember that they are on the road with others who may have had a drink or are fatigued too.
These situations on their own are dangerous for your young driver, but when combined the risk increases for your young driver at night.
How can you help.
You can’t keep them off the road forever, but you can ease your new solo driver into night driving. You can also share your own experiences of driving after dark.
Don’t hesitate to remind them of the facts; such as driving after 17 hours awake is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol reading of .05.
Encourage them to leave the car at home and catch public transport to social functions – it’s easier to make good decisions early rather than late at night when all they want to do is get home.
If they do drive - it never hurts to give them another option in case they feel it’s unsafe to drive home. Let them know that the ‘mum and dad taxi’ is still available or give them some ‘just in case’ cab money.
For more information on how you can help see the fact sheet on night driving check out the the TAC's fatigue campaigns.