Accident attorneys see many personal injury cases resulting from car crashes at night. Saturday nights, in particular, are considered the most dangerous time to be on the road. As the days grow shorter, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to avoid night driving altogether, so follow these tips for safer travels after dark.
How to Drive Safely at Night
1. Adjust Your Lights
Many drivers don't think to adjust their headlights, but they're sometimes angled downward or unevenly. Consult your driver's manual to make some adjustments and see if they improve your night visibility. Additionally, lower the brightness on your dashboard or other displays, as too-bright interior lights can be distracting.
2. Stay Alert
While drunk driving accounts for a considerable percentage of car accidents, driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous. Accident attorneys handle a significant number of cases caused by drivers who have nodded off at the wheel. In fact, 91,000 crashes are reportedly caused by drowsiness annually. Only drive when you’re well-rested, and stop for the night if you feel tired.
3. Avert Your Gaze
Lights from oncoming traffic can be so bright that they cause disorientation, especially when other drivers forget to turn their high beams off. While you should always keep your eyes on the road ahead, you can avoid looking directly into approaching cars' lights. Instead, set your gaze to the white shoulder line or double yellows.
4. Anticipate Other Drivers’ Moves
Car accident attorneys often deal with cases resulting from drunk driving, which is more likely to occur in the evening. For this reason, they advise drivers to be extra defensive after the sun sets. Watch for erratic behavior and keep a safe distance from other motorists to allow for spare reaction time. Also, maintain the speed limit and stay focused without any distractions.
5. Use Your High Beams
If you're traveling dark roads at night with little to no other traffic, use your high beams. Although this may not help on foggy or rainy evenings, as the moisture could scatter the light and make it more challenging to see, high beams could help you spot wildlife or road obstacles sooner during dry conditions.
Even with safe driving practices, it isn’t always possible to avoid accidents. If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision, contact Allen, Nelson & Wilson. With offices in Columbia and Springfield, MO, these accident attorneys have decades of combined legal experience and have served more than 20,000 clients, winning them more than $20 million in settlements collectively. Call (888) 549-2667 for the Springfield office or (573) 441-2667 for Columbia. You can also learn more about their practice areas online.