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Safety tips for driving at night in Maine

Traffic and safety experts said late sunsets during rush hour are contributing to more crashes on the roads.

AUGUSTA, Maine — This time of year, sunset comes early and the harshest rays of light can be found around rush hour. In fact, most days of the week it is the most dangerous time.

The National Safety Council collected data from the national highway traffic safety administration. They found that Monday through Thursday, more crashes happen between four and 8 p.m. than any other time of day and on the weekends, it's the second most common time for a collision.

Traffic experts said to avoid crashes and get home safely, you need to be able to see. That starts with having a clean windshield. 

Al Sutherland works on cars every day. He sees even the little things that can cause problems for drivers.

"When all the headlights are coming at you, they are going to start and make little stars and inhibit your vision so you won't be able to see as well," Sutherland said.

The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety said it is important to take your time on the roads.

"People seem to be in a hurry and they seem to be consumed with their own affairs, so they are not being polite. They are not sharing the road with other people. They are interested in getting where they are going as quickly as possible," Lauren Stewart, director of the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety.

The Maine Department of Public Safety reported three car crashes in the last two weeks in Auburn and Brunswick. They say sun glare was a contributing factor.

"Make sure your windshield is clean. That will prevent the glare from oncoming headlights," Sutherland said. 

A bad wiper blade can also make it difficult to see when it smears the windshield. 

Sutherland said vinegar and water will be a quick fix for a dirty windshield to help keep you driving safely at night.

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