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Driving at Night Increases Car Accident Risks

NightDriving

Many people have issues with driving at night. However, it is often unavoidable, particularly at this time of year. Daylight savings time ends on November 4, 2018, when we ‘fall back’ an hour. Combined with seasonal changes, this means that the sun will go down soon after 5:00 p.m., when many are still headed home from work or school and out running errands or getting together with friends. As car accidents resulting in serious and potentially life threatening injuries are more likely after dark, it is a good time to review some basic safety precautions.

Nighttime Car Accidents

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), car accidents in general often decline over the summer months and increase over fall and winter. This can be generally be attributed to the decrease in daylight hours. Crashes and collision are as much as three times more likely to happen after dark, and these accidents also tend to be among the most severe. 

The NIH reports that half of all traffic fatalities occur at night, which is often due to the following factors:

  • Decreased visibility, making it hard to see lanes, other drivers, and curves or obstacles in the road;
  • Increased distractions, due to the glare of street lamps and headlights;
  • Greater likelihood of encountering drunk or otherwise impaired drivers on the road;
  • Higher rates of drowsy driving and falling asleep behind the wheel.

Night blindness is common among people of all ages, though it does tend to increase with age. If you suffer this condition, it is important to speak with your doctor and get regular eye exams, to avoid putting yourself and other drivers at risk.

Safety Tips for Nighttime Driving

For many people not driving at night is simply is not an option, but you can take steps to protect yourself. Avoid driving if you are running on a lack of sleep and pull over if you feel your eyes getting heavy. Also, get regular eye exams and see about getting anti-reflective lenses for prescription glasses you wear, which can help minimize glare on the road. Additional tips for night time driving which are recommended by the National Safety Council (NSC) include:

  • Eliminate distractions in the vehicle, such as talking to passengers, reaching for objects, or changing GPS settings;
  • Adjust dashboard light settings to dim;
  • Clean your windshield with newspaper to prevent streaks;
  • Clean and adjust headlights so they are pointing straight ahead;
  • Slow down and allow yourself plenty of time to get where you are going;
  • Avoid looking directly at another car’s headlights, which can cause momentary blindness.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

If you or someone you love is involved in a crash or collision, the Law Firm of William E. Raikes, III provides the professional legal representation you need to protect your rights. Request a consultation to find out how we can help you get the compensation you need to recover and contact our Fort Pierce car accident attorney today.

Resources:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2564438/

nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/night-driving

The Law Office of William E. Raikes III is located in Fort Pierce, FL and serves clients in and around the communities of Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie and Vero Beach.

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