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Preparing Yourself for Night Driving

As the seasons change and the days grow shorter, more and more of your driving will be done at night. A disproportionate number of fatal accidents occur at night, and being prepared for nighttime driving can help cut down on those types of accidents. If you or someone you love has been involved in an automobile accident, the experienced personal attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. can help you with your case. Contact them today.

Dangers

Your ability to perceive and judge distances is severely impaired by darkness, and since it is estimated that 90% of driving decisions are based on what you can see, nighttime driving poses a risk. The combination of headlights and road lights can cause several problems for your vision, and drivers must take extra precautions to avoid accidents during the night. Nighttime traffic volume is half of what daytime driving volume is, but the National Traffic Council figures show about 62% of all traffic fatalities occur at night and death rates are nearly 3 times higher at night than they are during the day.

Driving immediately after sunset can also be dangerous since the sky is well lit, but the road and surroundings begin to get dark, causing a disparity between light and dark that can cause vision problems for drivers. Additionally, depth perception, peripheral vision, and color recognition are all reduced at night, demanding more focus. There are several ways that you can make night driving safer and avoid an accident:

  • Keep headlights on one hour before dusk and one hour after dawn to increase your vehicle’s visibility to other drivers.

  • Make sure headlights are properly aligned, and conduct regular maintenance checks to make sure all signal and brake lights are functioning properly.

  • Allow for enough distance to stop. Safe stopping distances should be gauged by your headlights. Low beams typically illuminate up to 160 feet in front of you, while high beams can illuminate up to 500 feet in front you. If you need to brake hard, you should be sure you can stop within these distances.

  • Keep your dashboard lights at a safe low setting. The contrast between bright and dark can impede your vision, limiting the brightness in your car should help you see at night and avoid car accidents.

  • Keep windows and windshield clean to limit the glare from other headlights.

  • Limit distractions. Since vision is limited during the night, reaction times will be slower. Giving the road your complete focus at night is extremely important in order to avoid accidents.

While you can do everything in your power to avoid them, auto accidents can still happen to anyone. Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. are experienced auto accident attorneys who can help you if you have been involved in an auto accident. Contact them today.