Day light is lasting longer now that spring is here, keeping more people active later in the evenings.
But our Greenville car accident attorneys know that it’s after dark when drivers face a significant increase in the risk of a traffic collision.
Nighttime driving poses significantly more risks than operating a vehicle during the day. In fact, a 2006 study published by British researchers found that a disproportionate number of fatal crashes happen after dark.
Some of the key factors for this:
- Reduced lighting and visibility;
- Increased risk of fatigue; and
- Increased instances of alcohol and drug consumption at night.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that while 18 percent of all fatal crashes during the day involve alcohol, that figure spikes to 54 percent at night.
Just about half of all fatal crashes happen at night. Of course, there are generally equal hours of day and night, but when you consider that far fewer people are actually on the road at night, the accident-per-miles-traveled ratio clearly indicates nighttime driving is exceedingly dangerous – especially on the weekends.
It’s no wonder, then, that 70 percent of U.S. drivers report they fear driving at night. About 40 percent said they were concerned that they would unwittingly hit a person or animal. Another 25 percent said they were most concerned about not being able to clearly see road markings.
These are all valid concerns, and the statistics seem to indicate that if you are at all able to avoid nighttime driving, it’s best to do so.
However, if you can’t, here are some things that Mothers Against Drunk Driving urges you to keep in mind:
- Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Adjust your mirrors. Make sure all your lights are working. Make sure you have enough wiper fluid and clear all your windows of any mud, ice, film, snow or fog.
- Don’t make your headlights an afterthought. They are key to your visibility. If you’re driving in the city, keep them set low. If you’re in a more rural area, put your high-beams on. If an oncoming vehicle’s lights are too bright, either move to another lane or focus on looking down at the painted lines on the road so you aren’t blinded.
- Stay alert. Fatigued driving is a major problem at night, simply because our bodies are designed to be sleeping. Even those who have been doing shift work for years may have trouble keeping their eyes open at night on a long, boring road. Consider grabbing a coffee or energy drink before you go. If you need to pull over and take a nap, do so.
- Keep your windows slightly rolled down. This may allow you to hear trouble faster than you may be able to see it. There is also the added benefit of the cool air rushing in and keeping you alert.
- Slow down. If you can’t stop within the area that is illuminated by you’re headlights in front of you, you are actually traveling too fast. There is no harm in going a few miles per hour under the speed limit at night, just to be safe.
Contact our Greenville Personal Injury Lawyers at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. by calling 1.800.533.6845.
Drive Safely After Dark, Feb. 15, 2013, Nationwide Insurance Guest Blogger for Mothers Against Drunk Driving
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Improved Laws Would Mean Fewer Car Accidents in Carolinas, Jan. 30, 2013, Greenville Car Accident Lawyer Blog