Safety Tips for Driving at Night
Posted in Driving Safety Tips on April 12, 2021
Driving at night can be very dangerous. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), fatal crashes tend to peak during darker times of the day—with low visibility, fatigued driving, and driving under the influence contributing to these statistics. While driving at night, it is very important for Texas drivers to remain vigilant, practice defensive driving, and avoid risky situations.
The Risks of Driving at Night
Data from the NSC shows that fatal car accidents peak during nighttime hours. In 2019, fatal crashes peaked between 8pm and 11:59pm during the spring and summer. From October to March, however, fatal crashes peaked during 4pm to 7:59pm—trends that coincide with Daylight Savings Time and a shorter amount of sunlight.
There are many factors that contribute to the dangers of driving at night. Low visibility can impact color recognition, depth perception, peripheral vision, and other important abilities that help drivers protect themselves from hazards. Even with headlights, a driver’s visibility range in front of his or her vehicle becomes much smaller during the night than during the day.
Additionally, there is a heightened risk of encountering fatigued or drunk drivers while driving a vehicle at night. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), most crashes involving drowsy drivers occur between midnight and 6am. NHTSA data also shows that drunk driving crashes occur most frequently between midnight and 3am.
How to Prevent an Accident While Driving at Night
Although driving at night can be dangerous, it is often unavoidable. If you do need to go on the road after dark, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and others.
- Remain on high alert and practice defensive driving. Drivers may be sleepy, under the influence, or otherwise not paying attention to the road. Before driving, make sure you get a good night’s sleep and remain aware of the drivers around you.
- Clean your windshield and check your lights. Dirty or damaged windshields may seem harmless during the day, but at night, they can increase the effects of a glare and temporarily blind you. Your headlights are also vital to keeping you safe on the road, and you want to ensure that other drivers can see you without blinding them. Before driving, clean your windshield and ensure that your headlights are in working condition.
- Increase your distance and reduce your speed. Driving at night reduces your reaction time, and you want to provide yourself with as much space as possible in case you encounter a hazard. Increase the distance between yourself and other vehicles and avoid speeding or tailgating.
What to Do After a Texas Car Accident
Accidents can happen at any time, in any place—even if you follow the proper precautions. If you are in an accident while driving at night, call 911 as soon as possible and report the accident to law enforcement. Take as many photographs of the accident scene as possible and collect contact information from the other driver and witnesses.
Even if you do not feel hurt after an accident, you may have injuries. If left untreated, these injuries can result in serious complications and death. Always go to the hospital as soon as possible after a collision, and save all records related to your injuries and treatment.
As soon as you receive medical attention, contact a McAllen personal injury lawyer. Since Texas is a fault accident state, you may be eligible for financial compensation if the other driver is responsible for the collision. Speak to your attorney as soon as possible to discuss your optimal path to recovery.