We’re back to driving in the dark- here’s how to stay safe on South Dakota roads

RAPID CITY, S.D. — We gained an hour of sleep last night, but we also gained an hour of darkness for the commute home, which can lead to increased accident numbers.

Darker roads are back for the winterThe overlap of fall back and fall rutting season can cause issues on the roadways of our wildlife-filled state. It’s important to slow down and think about giving yourself some extra stopping time in the twilight or dark hours.

There is one prevailing rule as far as wildlife goes though which may not coincide with your natural instincts.

“If a deer does jump in front of you, make sure you’re not swerving to avoid it, and just make sure that you’re prepared for that possibility,” warns Brendyn Medina, Public Information Officer with Rapid City Police Department.

It’s not just deer we have to worry about, other drivers and pedestrians can often lead to nighttime accidents. Pedestrians can keep themselves and those around them safe by following a few simple guidelines.

“That includes wearing brighter or reflective clothing, making sure you’re looking both ways before you cross the street, and making sure you’re utilizing crosswalks when possible,” Medina adds.

Finally, it’s easy to get drowsy behind the wheel when the sky is tucked in for the night. It’s important to be alert, especially when operating a two or three ton machine that is capable of traveling at high speeds.

That begins with making sure you and your vehicle are safe before turning the key, even at the end of a long day.

“Make sure that your lights are operational, that you’re adjusting your driving behavior to give yourself extra time to react to something that you may not have seen ahead in the road and really just good safety habits and slowing down are important,” he says. 

And of course, make sure to stick with NewsCenter1 for weather and roadway updates year-round.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News