If you work, have children, or like to socialize, you probably cannot avoid being out of the house during dark hours. It may be a regular occurrence that leads you to experience transportation at night or a rare evening away but regardless, if you drive, ride a bicycle, or walk when it is dark, you should realize that your safety is at a greater risk than it is during the day.
The reasons that night driving is associated with increased risk of car accidents are myriad and complex and include the fact that many people who drink and drive do so in the overnight hours. While some people drink during the daytime, it is much more common for people to drink later and to act in a negligent manner after drinking. This leads to thousands of drunk driving accidents every year in Arizona.
Most people have decreased vision at night when compared to their daytime vision which means that they have less ability to notice road hazards and changing traffic conditions. Further, if people cannot see as far in front of them at night, they will have less time to slow or stop their car if a problem does arise.
Confusion also plays a role in nighttime driving accidents as motorists who are unfamiliar with a road may find a sharp corner or turn unnerving and surprising, leading them to make a careless mistake that causes a crash. Roads that seem routine and straight in the daytime may waver at night and may lead an experienced driver to err in a situation when that same driver may not struggle during the day.
Consider the following tips in advance of your next planned nighttime drive as doing so could help to prevent a crash:
- Check Your Headlights: Before you begin driving, make sure your headlights are in proper working condition. Just like the light bulbs in your home, headlights will eventually burn out and need to be replaced. It is also possible for headlights to be misaligned and to be shining their light in an undesirable direction or angle which will not help illuminate the road immediately in front of your car. If you do not know what to look for, think about taking your vehicle into an experienced mechanic to have it examined.
- Slow Your Speed: Whether driving straight ahead or taking a corner, it is a good idea to reduce your vehicle’s speed when driving at night. If a problem arises, you will have less time to react from the moment the issue is visible than you would during the daytime and driving slower may be the difference between your ability to stop and your car being involved in a collision.
- Stay Alert: Most people feel tired when it is dark outside and find themselves more alert during the day. However, if you are tired or sleepy, you are more likely to cause a drowsy driving collision. Tired drivers do not think as clearly as others and are more likely to err behind the wheel. Make sure you stay awake and alert while you are driving and if you find yourself getting tired, pull off the road and rest or switch drivers if possible.
- Expect the Unexpected: You never know what you will encounter while driving at night so the best advice is to expect the unexpected. Anticipate mistakes by other motorists and be prepared to drive in a defensive manner in response. Be prepared for changing traffic conditions and for objects in the roadway and keep your vehicle under control at all times.
If you drive in a reasonable manner, you should remain safe at night and during the dark hours of the day as long as those around you follow the same approach. However, if you are involved in a collision, know that you may be entitled to seek legal relief for your damages through a personal injury claim and with the help of a personal injury attorney.
Prior Blog Entry:
Ziplines are Taking Over Arizona: But Are They Safe?, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 1, 2016.
Travel Tips, Arizona Department of Public Safety.