Now that Daylight Saving Time has ended for the year, Louisiana readers will spend more time driving in the dark. Unfortunately, the National Safety Council reports that the risk of a fatal crash is three times greater once the sun goes down.
One of the reasons nighttime driving can be riskier is that a driver's vision is diminished in the dark. Normal headlights only illuminate 250 feet of roadway in front of a vehicle, and high-beam headlights only illuminate 500 feet. In addition, a driver's depth perception, peripheral vision and color recognition all decrease in the dark. In order to enhance nighttime vision, traffic safety experts recommend that drivers make sure their headlights are clean and properly aimed. Drivers should also dim the dashboard lights and clean the windshield to reduce glare. Vision decreases as people age, so older drivers should make sure they have annual vision exams, minimize distractions and reduce their speed. They may also benefit from taking a refresher driving course.
Fatigue can also play a role in nighttime crashes. According to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of adults have operated a vehicle while tired. Worse, 37 percent of adults admit that they've actually fallen asleep while driving. To reduce the risk of drowsy driving, experts encourage drivers to get seven or more hours of sleep every night. On longer road trips, drivers should take a rest break every two hours and pull over to nap if they feel sleepy. Individuals who have been awake for 16 or more hours should never get behind the wheel.
People who suffer injuries in a car accident may benefit from contacting an attorney. An attorney might evaluate the case and recommend the appropriate course of action. For example, it may be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.