The Nighttime Car Accident: Four Tips for Avoiding Them

September 24th, 2015 by Patrick Hogan

One of the riskiest times to drive is during the night hours. Drunk drivers and speeders are on the road in increased numbers, vision is difficult, and people are fighting off drowsiness. In addition to this, motorists often fail to compensate for difficult nighttime conditions and continue with their usual distracted driving habits. If you do a lot of night driving, you can substantially improve your personal safety and avoid a car accident by following these four tips:

Reduce Glare

A dirty windshield scatters light and produces glare. Clean both the inside and outside surfaces. If your windshield wipers streak, replace them. Dim your instrument lights and turn off reading and map lights when they’re not in use. When approaching an oncoming car or truck with bright headlights, avert your eyes to the right edge of the road.

Clean and Adjust the Angle of Your Headlights

Dirt dramatically reduces the brightness of your headlights. Don’t wait until the glass looks foggy. Wash them whenever you visit a gas station. Have your mechanic check your headlight’s angle. Over time, vibration causes their angle to change which means that most of their light may be pointing off to the side, up in the air, or down at the pavement.

Don’t Out Drive the Reach of Your Headlights

The faster you drive, the greater the distance required for safely reacting to a road event or obstruction. If your headlights don’t cover this reaction distance, you need to slow down.

Drive When Well Rested

Adequate rest is the best defense against drowsy driving. Don’t attempt lengthy drives at night unless you have had at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep the night before. If you can manage it, an afternoon nap before your trip is also advisable. If you find yourself tired, don’t wait until you start nodding off. Get off the road and find a place to sleep such as a rest stop or motel. Tricks such as opening the windows and turning up the radio are short-term solutions. However, you should use them while looking for a rest area.

Periodically stop the car and take a break even when you aren’t feeling drowsy. Get out and stretch your legs and be careful not to eat large meals because they tend to make you sleepy. Periodic rest stops is a preventative measure that keeps your mind alert over longer periods.

If you were involved in a car accident because of another motorist’s actions, you have a right to fair compensation for damages and the injuries that you have suffered. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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