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Decreased Daylight Hours Increase Car Accident Risks

Daylight savings time will officially end on November 4, 2018, meaning we will ‘fall back’ one hour. In general, daylight hours decrease dramatically over the fall. Combined with the time change, it will likely be dark both in the morning when many of us head to work and in the evening on the commute home. Unfortunately, this can significantly increase the risk of car accidents resulting in serious personal injuries. The following tips can help you be prepared.

The Dangers of Driving in the Dark

Whether you commute to work during the early morning hours or tend to stay out later in the evening, it is important to be aware of the multiple dangers that driving in the dark presents. The National Safety Council (NSC) states that fatal car accidents are three times more likely to occur in the dark than at any other time of the day, and these collisions have a tendency to spike when daylight savings time ends. According to the NSC states, there are four common factors that make driving in the dark so dangerous:

  • Fatigue, either due to just getting up in the morning or being up late at night

  • Poor vision, which makes it difficult to detect curves or obstacles in the road

  • Increased distraction, caused by traffic glare

  • Increased likelihood of encounter drivers who are under the influence

Protecting Yourself When Driving in the Dark

Many people try to limit the amount of time spent driving at night. However, this is not a viable option for everyone, and it can be particularly hard to avoid at this time of year. To protect yourself in this situation, Popular Mechanics recommends the following tips:

  • Make sure your headlights are adjusted properly. Even in newer cars, it is not uncommon for them to be improperly aligned or not facing directly on the road.

  • Keep your dashboard dim. While a brightly lit dashboard featuring numerous bells and whistles may be an attractive option to have in your vehicle, it can be a real distraction when driving at night. Keep the instrument panel dimly lit.

  • Protect your eyes. Get a vision exam regularly to make sure your eyes are healthy in general. If you require prescription glasses, ask about anti-reflective lenses, which help to reduce glare. Do not attempt to wear sunglasses at night, and be cautious of gimmicks regarding ‘night vision’ lenses.

  • Avoid looking directly into headlights. Keep your eyes on the road in front of you but avoid staring directly into other driver’s headlights or at the lights on surrounding posts. This can cause momentary blindness, which may take up to a minute to recover from.

Get Help Today

When car accidents and personal injuries do occur, the Surasky Law Firm, LLC is here to provide the legal help you need. Contact our Aiken personal injury attorney today to request a consultation.

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