Dangers of Night DrivingDecember 10, 2018
There is no denying the fact that driving at night is more difficult than driving during daylight hours, and it should be noted that daylight hours are decreasing since the East Coast turned the clocks back in early November. Shortened daylight hours put drivers at an increased risk of car accidents due to many factors including:
- Blinding from high beams of oncoming vehicles
- Limited visibility in darkness of about 500 feet
- Reduced depth perception
Additionally, the above limits to nighttime driving are compromised even further as we age. On average, our ability to see in low-light conditions begin to lessen as early as 50 years old.
Combatting the Darkness
All drivers are at an increased risk for accidents at night. However, the following steps can help decrease those risks:
- Slow down to increase stopping time
- Leave room between your vehicle and the one in front to compensate for limited visibility
- Clean the windshield inside and out to reduce glare and increase overall visibility
- Avert eyes from oncoming headlights to the centerline of the road
Nighttime drivers are often heading home from a long day of work or perhaps traveling to another location for the holidays or a getaway. Fatigued driving at night comprises the safety of the driver, their passengers, and everyone else on the road.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), fatigued driving has similar consequences to intoxicated driving. In fact, losing two hours of sleep is equated to driving after three beers. Although it is recommended that drivers get seven or more hours of sleep before hitting the road, for many of us, this is not possible. For those who must travel when it is not ideal, take the following into consideration:
- Stop driving if you have been awake for 16 hours or more
- Plan travel for hours you are normally awake
- Stop every two hours for rest or when drowsiness sets in
Older Drivers’ Night Vision
A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light as a 30-year-old to see clearly. In fact, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that older drivers take the following steps to compensate for any potential visibility issues:
- Have annual vision exams
- Reduce speed while traveling at night
- Take a driving refresher course
- Avoid distracted driving behaviors like using a GPS, cell phone, or engaging with passengers
- Check with your doctor about side effects associated with driving while using prescription drugs
- Consider limiting driving to daylight hours
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Assist Clients Injured in Nighttime Car Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident while driving at night or any other time of day, contact a Baltimore car accident lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in Maryland car accident laws and can help to determine the type of compensation you may be entitled. To discuss your case, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.