How can I Drive Safely at Dusk and Dawn?September 6, 2021
Driving can be challenging at any time of day, but even more so at dusk and dawn. As the sun rises and sets, glare and shadows can be exceptionally bothersome to drivers. Add in a potentially drowsy driver because of the time of day, and there is a good chance of a car accident taking place.
Following are ways to reduce the chances of a car accident in the early morning or at dusk.
Top Ways to Drive Safely at Dusk and Dawn
- Wear sunglasses. In the early morning, the sun can be extreme at certain angles and temporarily blind a driver. Although it may seem obvious to wear sunglasses, many people do not or forget them at home. Always keep a spare pair in the vehicle, as they are highly beneficial.
- Use the sun visor. Cars are equipped with visors for a reason. The sun’s angle as it rises is often reflected right through the front windshield. A visor can help with straight-on glare or when the sun’s rays move to the side. When that happens, the visor should move to the side as well.
- Pull over if needed. During both dusk and dawn, glare and shadows can make it difficult for drivers to navigate. They may not see other cars or road markers and signs. Sometimes pulling over for just a few minutes can improve conditions as the sun fully sets, rises, or changes position.
- Beware of the weather. Driving at dusk or dawn when the weather is inclement only adds to potential problems. An already tricky drive can be exacerbated by rain, sleet, ice, or snow. As with any time of day, use extra caution in adverse weather, especially at dusk or dawn.
- Use headlights at dusk. It is easy to forget to turn on headlights when it is still somewhat light out. But headlights should go on at the first sign of dusk approaching. Headlights make it easier for the driver to see and can ensure that oncoming cars see the driver’s vehicle, too.
- Fix the fog. Dusk and dawn driving can also mean humidity seeping into the car and fogging the windows. It is difficult to see out of a window or use a mirror covered with condensation, so use the windshield wipers and defroster frequently. Running the air conditioner can help. Keep windows and mirrors clear of bugs and dirt as well.
- Watch for animals. Many animals, such as deer, will forage for food or look for cover as the sun begins to set. Some are active also in the mornings. Always be on the lookout for animals crossing the road. Slow down in areas where animals are known to dart out or when there is a deer crossing sign.
- Stay awake and alert. Dusk and dawn can mean early morning or late-night driving. Some drivers are not accustomed to these hours, whereas others may not have gotten enough sleep the night before. Drowsy driving can cause an accident. If tired, do not drive. Pull over to rest or start out another time.
- Minimize distractions. Dusk and dawn already present challenges, so it is best to minimize any distractions while driving. The number one distraction is a cell phone, followed by loud music, rowdy passengers, glancing at navigation systems, eating, and drinking. Stay focused on the road.
- Follow the rules of the road. Driving at dusk and dawn may mean the driver is trying to make good time on a trip or is making up for lost time. They may speed, ignore road signs, tailgate, or otherwise drive recklessly. Reckless driving is harmful at any time, but dusk and dawn can add to the problem.
- Beware of changing vision. A driver’s eyes will adjust to changing daylight. Be aware of shifting contrast perception, altered peripheral vision, and reduced depth perception. A driver who expects these changes can quickly adapt to them without taking their attention off the road.
What Should I Do after an Accident at Dusk and Dawn?
If involved in an accident in the morning or evening, follow as many of these steps as possible.
- Call 911. Getting medical attention is the first thing anyone should do after an accident. Call 911, knowing bystanders or witnesses will often call as well.
- Check for injuries. If able to move freely and exit the car, check for injuries to self and passengers. Administer light first aid, such as stopping a bleeding gash, but do not cause more harm. Do not move someone with neck or back injuries.
- Cooperate with police. Answer the law enforcement officer’s questions, but do not overshare information. Everything said will become part of an official police report.
- Do not admit guilt. Never apologize or admit guilt or responsibility for an accident. Anything said to first responders or other drivers can be used in a later legal claim should one arise.
- Capture images. If able, use a cellphone to take video and pictures of the accident scene, especially vehicle damage, strewn parts, injuries, and weather and road conditions.
- Get witness statements. People are often willing to provide statements about what they saw, so ask bystanders if they will do so. Get their comments on video or by hand, along with their names and contact information.
- Seek follow-up medical care. Accept medical attention on the scene, but also follow up with a primary doctor after an accident. Some conditions, such as whiplash or even brain injuries, can take days to appear. Always see a doctor whenever symptoms arise after an accident.
- Do not accept an insurer’s initial offer. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, not helping accident victims recover their losses. When another motorist causes an accident, their insurance company will almost always offer a quick settlement. Although that may be tempting to accept when faced with medical bills or even loss of income, it is best to talk to a lawyer first.
- Hire a car accident lawyer. A lawyer specializing in car accidents has the knowledge, skills, and experience to defend against an insurer’s tactics and prove who was at fault.
How can a Lawyer Help Me after a Car Accident?
An accident victim should always consult a local personal injury lawyer after an accident caused by a negligent driver. Victims are entitled to seek fair and just compensation for their damages.
A car accident lawyer will do the following:
- Investigate the accident. A lawyer will investigate the accident and collect evidence to determine who was at fault in the accident. A lawyer will ensure that no one fixes the cars involved and will preserve other evidence as well.
- Get witness statements and videos. People who saw the accident will be invaluable in building a solid case. For further evidence, a lawyer will also analyze the police report and collect photographs and videos, such as from traffic cams or nearby security cameras.
- Calculate the damages. In a legal claim or negotiations with an insurer, the plaintiff must specify a dollar amount they are seeking. Calculating damages takes the skills of a car accident lawyer who will analyze both current and future costs for medical care, loss of income, pain and suffering, property damage, and other economic and non-economic losses.
- Negotiate with insurance companies. Lawyers specializing in car accidents are skilled negotiators. They know the tactics insurance companies use and will defend against them to get victims fair and just compensation.
- Take the claim to court if needed. A lawyer will always build a strong case with the thought that they may need to take it to court if needed. Sometimes insurers will not negotiate fairly, and the only recourse is a lawsuit.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Vehicle Accidents
No one should suffer the physical, financial, and emotional devastation of a car accident that results in injuries and costs. Every victim has the right to be fully compensated for the damages they endure and the costs they incur in an accident. The Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton fight for accident victims every day. We will fight for you and your loved ones, too. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our offices are conveniently located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, where we represent victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.