With the cold, winter months approaching, the days are getting shorter.
When the sun comes up later and sets earlier, normal driving hours are
growing progressively darker and more dangerous. According to the National
Safety Council research, drivers’ risk of being involved in a deadly
car crash triples when driving at night. That increased risk isn’t
just a matter of your own decreased capacity to
safely operate a vehicle in dimly lit conditions, it’s a matter of getting on the road with
other drivers who will be as impaired as you are, if not more. The top
reasons for driver impairment at night include:
Fatigue: Lack on sunlight causes the body’s melatonin levels to rise, thereby
signaling the brain that it is time to sleep. Regardless of a driver’s
usual bedtime, darkness still creates a level of lethargy and tiredness
that slows reaction time and puts drivers at risk of nodding off at the wheel.
Impaired Vision: Even if your eyesight is 20/20, your ability to see clearly is diminished
in the dark. Vision also tends to dwindle as people age, but this doesn’t
mean that only senior citizens are at risk of accidents while driving
in the dark. All drivers are at an ever-increasing risk of nighttime car
accidents as they age, which is why drivers of any age should have regular
checkups with an optometrist to receive updated prescriptions for contacts
Drunk Driving: This one has more to do with the time of day than the level of light, but
the darkness certainly doesn’t help. Even if you are not
driving drunk or driving while buzzed, there are people on the road who are, and your
ability to identify and avoid a drunk driver is diminished in the dark.
You can avoid deadly nighttime accidents involving drunk drivers by reducing
your speed and maintaining greater distance between your vehicle and others’
when driving at night.
Changing your schedule to avoid driving in the dark is probably not an
option. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk and
protect yourself from being another casualty of a deadly, nighttime accident
or experiencing a
serious injury. Make sure you are able to see properly on the road by checking and cleaning
your headlights, wearing non-reflective glasses, maintaining clean windows
and mirrors, and driving at a decreased speed.
If you have been involved in a nighttime
car accident and have suffered significant personal harm, legal action could be the
best way forward. Our Greenwich personal injury lawyers at Ivey Barnum
& O’Mara, LLC are ready and willing to be your advocates in
court and help you obtain appropriate compensation. We are committed to
helping you move forward.
Call us at (203) 718-4002 or schedule your complimentary consultation