Many people feel apprehensive about driving once it gets dark or at night, in part because its much harder to see. According to the NHTSA, fatal accidents are three times more likely to occur after the sun sets. Even with confidence and skill in your driving abilities, it’s essential to realize others on the roadways at night may not have those same skills and can involve you in an accident when driving after dark.
With so many factors in the potential cause of a crash, especially one at night, seeking the advice and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney is imperative. You need to know your rights to get the compensation you deserve to pay for medical expenses and other damages after a crash.
Crucial Tips for Driving at Night
Often, you cannot avoid nighttime driving. To prevent an accident, follow these seven tips for staying safe and reaching your destination when driving at night in Louisiana.
1. Maintain All Lights and Windshields
As the sun sets,low visibility sets in, requiring you to pay closer attention to the roadway and your surroundings as you drive. To do so, you need to ensure that all lights on your vehicle work at full capacity and your windshield and mirrors are clean.
Keep your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and signal lights working at all times. This helps you see better and makes it easier for others to see you at night. Regularly test both your low and high-beam light settings, and use those high beams confidently on the darkest, isolated roadways. Also, keep them clean, so they emit the highest amount of light possible.
You also want your windshield to be clean. Built-up dirt and grime on a windshield can impair your vision and increase the glare coming off other vehicles’ lights.
2. Dim Interior Lights on Dash and Instrument Panel
The fewer distractions you have in the interior of your vehicle, the more you can focus on the road. Today’s cars come with brightly lit screens, creating a risky illumination in the car’s cabin that could ruin your night vision. As with direct sunshine, bright lights can cause your pupils to close down, challenging your sight of the dark road ahead.
Many dash and instrument panels and screens provide the option to switch to night mode. Review your owner’s manual to learn how to do this so you don’t have to limit your ability to see at night.
3. Avoid Staring into Oncoming Headlights
The glare from headlights of oncoming cars is a major complaint of many nighttime drivers. To counteract this, avoid staring directly into those lights as you drive. If the glare is particularly intense, drive in an outside lane and use the lane markers on the road’s edge to guide you as you pass the oncoming vehicles.
4. Increase Distance Between Cars
Allow yourself ample time to stop quickly if needed at night by increasing the distance you would normally keep between you and other cars on the road. At nighttime, it is more challenging to determine a car’s speed and distance, so keep yourself safe by staying farther away.
5. Avoid Driving While Fatigued
Drowsy driving can lead to deadly accidents, so do your best to avoid driving while fatigued. Take rest breaks often. Open windows and let the cool air refresh you as you drive, or stop for coffee or other caffeinated beverages as needed. Turning up the radio and singing may also help keep you awake and alert.
6. Be Aware of Others on the Road
While you’re busy ensuring you’re driving safely while out on the roads at night, others may not be of the same mindset. Stay alert and constantly aware of others on the road with you. When driving at night, you’re more likely to encounter speeding, drowsy, or intoxicated drivers.
Also, take due care to notice any pedestrians or cyclists out at night. If these individuals are not wearing reflective clothing, they may be difficult to see.
While using high beams is helpful on dark, isolated roads, be comfortable and familiar with how to switch quickly between your low and high beams. Avoid blinding oncoming cars, which can potentially lead to them crossing the centerline or running off the side.
7. Consider How Well You Can See at Night
If you have poor night vision, plan your travels to occur before sunset. If you must drive at night, keep glasses or contact prescriptions up-to-date. Talk with your eye doctor about your concerns and ask for advice about driving at night.
Contact Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers in Louisiana Today
If you can’t avoid driving at night, taking the necessary precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe is essential. If an auto accident does occur, you need to know your rights and what compensation you are entitled to as a result. Contact the experienced legal team at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers in Louisiana for a free consultation to learn more.
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