Driving while it’s dark outside isn’t just challenging, it can be utterly dangerous. When it is nighttime, the human eye has a decreased aptitude for discerning depth perception, color, and employing peripheral vision. Even the most expensive, top of the line headlights, with their high beams in use, only light up the roadway roughly 300 to 400 feet in front of your vehicle. Other hazards can festoon our roads at nighttime: drowsy drivers, intoxicated drivers, drivers on their cell phones… poor highway companions all.
Based on research that was published by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, the highest number of drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are on Utah’s roads from the hours of midnight to 3:00 AM. Deadly car crashes also take place four times as frequently during the night when compared to driving during the daytime. Nonetheless, we realize that the majority of people have obligations that require them to drive while it is dark out. With that point in mind, there are some steps that you can take to ensure that you get to your destination safe and sound, even after sundown.
If you become involved in a vehicle collision during any time of the day or night for any reason, please make sure that you get in touch with a car accident attorney as soon as you are able to do so.
Your Headlights Need to be Redirected
Have you ever noticed that you are having difficulty seeing at night because your headlights seem to be pointed down, illuminating only what is directly in front of you instead of out at the road ahead of you? Headlights can shift over time, gradually lowering their focal point until all they are lighting up is the ground a few feet in front of them. This is a simple fix that can be handled either by a mechanic for fairly cheap or by yourself if you are mechanically inclined (by “mechanically inclined” I mean that you can use a screwdriver. There is no actual machinery involved). Taking the time to have this minor adjustment made can make a world of difference when you are relying on your headlights at night by increasing your range of sight and your visibility to other cars and reducing your likelihood of having a car accident.
Your Dashboard Lights Need to be Dimmed
Super bright LED dashboard displays and the sharp white electronic glow of your navigation system can not only be distracting but they can diminish your range of vision as well. Dimming these lights as much as possible will help to reduce glares and reflections on your windshield which can wreak havoc when you are driving at night. It also allows your eyes to adjust more properly to the darkness so you are better able to see what is ahead of you.
Your Windshield and Mirrors Need to be Cleaned
Often times a windshield that looked perfectly clean during daylight hours turns to something looking frosted and covered in streaks at night. Oncoming headlights, street lamps, and lit business signage can all highlight streaks and glares that only occur when driving at night. The streaks and glares can greatly reduce the ability of the driver to properly observe the road around him. Wiping your windshield down with a piece of newspaper works wonders for removing spots, streaks, and smudges that can impede your vision. If you need to clean your windshield a mixture of water and white vinegar is better than any store bought glass cleaner. Oh, and if you smoke in your car you’re going to want to take a pass at the inside of your windshield as well. Trust me.
Unfortunately, most of us cannot refuse to drive anywhere at night just for safety’s sake. Following these tips can help you to be a safer driver on the roads after dark. If you notice that you are having difficulty with an aspect of night driving be sure to address it as soon as it is safe for you to do so. Be sure that you are off the road and safely parked before attempting minor solutions such as adjusting your side view mirrors to reduce the glare of headlights from behind you. Doing so while driving could easily lead to the very car accident you were trying to avoid. Driving is no place for irony. Should you be involved in a collision at night, make sure to move your vehicle to the shoulder of the road, if possible, and turn your hazards on so that oncoming drivers can see you. As soon as you are safely able to, you need to contact an accident attorney in your area.
If you or someone you love is injured in a vehicle collision in the Salt Lake City area, it is essential that you reach out to a trained personal injury attorney as soon as you possibly can. The personal injury attorneys here at the Utah law offices of Siegfried & Jensen will work diligently to advocate for your rights and see to it that you receive financial compensation for any damages that you are entitled to under Utah state law.
Figuring out our modern legal practices can be a complex and overwhelming task. We are here to make certain that you are not going through this confusing and scary process all by yourself. For a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our qualified car accident attorneys, please get in touch with us by calling 801-845-9000 and scheduling your appointment today.