Learn about 3 common causes of nighttime car accidents and how to avoid them
With the end of Daylight Saving Time earlier this month, you may find that more of your daily commute takes place in the dark. According to the National Safety Council, driving in the dark increases the risk of having a fatal car accident by a factor of three, so naturally you’ll want to be more careful than ever.
Here are three common causes of night driving accidents, along with tips to combat them:
Humans simply don’t have very good night vision. Even with your high beams on, you may only be able to see 500 feet in front of you. Oncoming headlights, street lights, and other light sources along the road can interfere with your night vision and reduce visibility even more. Considering that an estimated 90 percent of driving decisions are based on visual input, you can see that poor visibility at night is a significant problem.
Here are some tips to help improve your ability to see at night:
- Make sure your headlights are aimed correctly to give maximum visibility
- Dim your dashboard and look away from oncoming lights to preserve your night vision
- Keep your windshield clean to eliminate streaks and glare
- Slow down to give yourself more time to see and react to hazards
According to a poll from the National Sleep Foundation, 37 percent of adults have fallen asleep while driving. Obviously, falling asleep at the wheel is extremely dangerous. But you don’t actually have to be tired enough to fall asleep to cause an accident. Drowsy drivers are three times more likely to be in an accident, in part because sleep deprivation and drinking cause similar impairment. Missing two hours of sleep will affect your driving ability about the same as drinking three beers.
Here are some tips to help reduce your risk of a drowsy driving accident:
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night
- Try to avoid driving at times when you’d normally be sleeping
- Pull over for a nap if you feel sleepy
- On long trips, stop every two hours to rest
- Don’t get behind the wheel if you haven’t slept for 24 hours or more
Alcohol, illegal drugs, and medications can all impair an individual’s judgment and driving abilities. Impaired driving accidents are more likely to occur at night, since this is when most impaired drivers are out on the roads. The most dangerous time for impaired driving accidents is midnight to 3 am on the weekends.
To keep from causing an impaired driving accident, you just need to use some common sense:
- Don’t drink and drive—especially if your BAC is over the legal limit
- Don’t drive after using illegal drugs
- Read the labels on medications carefully and avoid driving after taking anything that could cause impairment
- Ask your doctor about potential drug interactions that could cause fatigue, dizziness, or other symptoms that would interfere with your driving abilities
Have You Been Injured in a Night Driving Accident?
If you have been hurt because another driver couldn’t see well, was sleepy, or was impaired by drugs, alcohol, or medication, you deserve compensation. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we can help you get this compensation. We’re the #1 car accident firm in southern California and we will fight for you. Call 800-333-0000 now for a free consultation and no-risk representation.