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Driving at Night May Increase Your Auto Accident Risk

Our Boston, MA accident attorneys know that driving at night is much more dangerous than driving during the daytime. When a person is behind the wheel, 90 percent of his reactions and decisions are driven by what he can see. Unfortunately, as the National Safety Council (NSC) points out, drivers can see far less at night than they can during the day.

Driving after dark is dangerous for everyone, but especially for older drivers who may need twice as much light as younger drivers to be able to see well. All drivers young and old, however, can benefit from following some basic night-driving safety tips provided by the NSC.

How to Drive Safely at Night

The NSC indicates that the risk of dying in a car accident is three times greater when you are driving at night compared to when you drive in the light of day. The increased danger comes, in large part, due to impaired visibility. As such, there is no way to completely eliminate the added danger of night driving.

However, following some basic best-practices when it comes to night driving can reduce your accident risk. NSC recommends:

  • Regularly washing the inside and outsides of your car windows, as well as cleaning the headlights, tail lights and signal lights on your car. Clean lights and clean windows make it easier to see and be seen.
  • Confirming the proper aim of your headlights so you can see and so you do not blind other drivers.
  • Avoiding cigarettes or other smoking products, since both carbon monoxide and nicotine can hamper your ability to see at night.
  • Turning headlights on in any situation where they might be needed. Even if they don't really improve your ability to see, they will help others to see you.
  • Refraining from tailgating and slowing your speed. When it is dark out, you have a harder time judging how fast other cars are traveling and have a harder time accurately assessing distances.
  • Staying inside the area illuminated by your headlights rather than "overdriving" them and creating a blind crash area.
  • Using your low beams instead of your high beams when you are following another driver.
  • Using the right edge of the road as a steering guide if a car that is coming at you has its high beams on.
  • Stopping your car if you get tired and pausing to eat or exercise a little to stay awake.
  • Moving off of the road as far as you can in case of an accident.

By following these tips, you can hopefully stay safer at night time and reduce your chances of a collision. Unfortunately, night is also a time when people are more likely to drive drunk or to be fatigued. If you do either of those things, you put yourself in danger.

Even if you are responsible, however, you could be at risk of encountering drunk or drowsy drivers on the road. You should try to steer clear of them whenever possible by staying away from cars that appear to be driven erratically and even calling in law enforcement if you suspect a drunk driver.

If you’ve been injured, call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for a free consultation with one of the personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone.