By now you hopefully are aware that Daylight Saving Time ended over the weekend on November 5th. While you probably enjoyed that extra hour of sleep, you will soon be feeling the impact as you begin to notice how early darkness falls in the evenings. Because of this, one of the side effects of the time change will naturally be an increase in nighttime driving.
While you should always drive with caution, driving at night has its own risks:
- Reduced Visibility – Even with your brights on, your headlights can only illuminate up to 500 feet according to the National Safety Council. This is reduced to 250 feet if you are using your normal headlights. This greatly decreases the visibility of animals, road debris, pedestrians, and cars that have failed to turn their lights on, so make sure to slow down and be on extra high alert for any movement.
- Blinding Lights – We’ve all experienced that blinding moment when you accidentally look towards a car’s headlights when driving, especially if the car has their high-beam headlights on. Make sure to show courtesy to other drivers by turning down your high-beams when you are approaching another vehicle, and try to refrain from looking directly at any bright lights that you encounter while driving at night.
- Increased Glare – Your car’s interior lights, a dirty windshield, bright street lights, wet roads... all of these things can cause glare while you are driving. Eliminate glare when you can by keeping your windshield clean and dimming your interior lights. This will reduce eye strain and help you to see better while driving at night.
- Compromised Eyesight – All of our visual faculties are reduced at night. This includes our ability to judge distances, our recognition of color and movement, and our awareness of objects in our surroundings. These factors come into play even more when we are driving in unfamiliar surroundings.
- The Effects of Aging – It’s a little known fact that as we get older our night vision actually gets worse. According to the National Safety Council, a 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old.
Because of these and other factors, the National Safety Council has found that fatal crashes are 3 times more likely at night. In fact, 50% of all traffic deaths happen at night despite nighttime driving only making up 25% of our total driving time.
We want you to stay safe, so make sure that you are taking the extra steps necessary as your need for nighttime driving increases. Even with these extra precautions, though, we know that accidents happen. If you are involved in a car accident, call the experienced car accident attorneys at Boughter Sinak, LLC right away to get the compensation that you deserve!
Source: National Safety Council