Late-night car accidents arefour times deadlier than accidents during the day. Not only that, 40% of auto accidents occur at night, in spite of fewer drivers on the road outside of working hours. These accidents are often preventable if drivers took proper safety precautions and drove carefully at night. That’s why we’ve put together these tips for driving at night.
Put Your Phone on Do Not Disturb
You should never use your phone while driving, especially at night. Under normal circumstances, a phone represents a visual distraction, a manual distraction, and a cognitive distraction. At night, an incoming notification is like a tiny headlight in your cupholder, it momentarily blinds you and causes you to lose your night vision. Even if you’re focused on driving, the temptation is there to pick up your phone and look at the message.
Putting your phone on do not disturb eliminates this problem. You won’t be caught off-guard by incoming messages, and you won’t have to worry about any other distraction associated with using your cellphone while driving.
Even if you’re familiar with the road, it’s best to slow down when driving at night. An animal or an unexpected driver can break your concentration. If you’re in an unfamiliar area, take caution. When you can’t be sure what’s beyond your headlights, it’s better to drive slow and give yourself more time to react to oncoming obstacles.
Clean Your Windshield
You might not notice a dirty windshield during the day, but when the sun is just above the horizon, you can completely lose your visibility as the light filters through the grime like a disco ball. The same is true of driving at night. When another vehicle’s lights are exactly high enough to hit the dirty spots on your windshield, you can suffer a total loss of visibility.
Whether your windshield has dirt or hard water stains, you should take a moment to clean it up. Hard water stains are common in Florida and can wreak havoc on your visibility. Calcium cleaners, such as Lime-A-Way or CLR excel at removing these stains.
Don’t Look into the Light
If you see another car coming toward you, avoid looking directly at their headlights. The lights cause your eyes to readjust, which can momentarily blind you to the area directly in front of your vehicle. Your eyes quickly readjust to light but take around 10 minutes to readjust to the dark.
Looking into headlights can be especially dangerous if the other driver has their high beams on or if they have blue headlights. When you see another car coming toward you, look to the road shoulder or the area directly in front of your headlights while ensuring you have enough visibility to control the car.
Scan for Wildlife
While driving through the woods or swamplands after dark, you might spot a pair of glowing dots on the side of the road. Most often, these are the eyes of wildlife standing in the brush. Some of these animals have eyes specialized for night vision. When these creatures see a sudden burst of light, such as a headlight, they are momentarily blinded and may act unpredictably.
If you’re driving through rural areas at night, scan for those glowing spots on the side of the road. If you spot one, slow down until you’ve passed the animal. If they are stunned by your lights and attempt to cross the road, you’ll have a greater ability to maneuver and avoid an accident.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a late-night car accident, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced Stuart auto injury attorney from Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (866) 675-4427.