7 Tips for Avoiding a Nighttime Auto Accident
With the winter solstice now passed, the daylight hours will grow longer, giving us less drive time in the dark.
As a Riverside, California, auto accident attorney, I am often more aware of the increased risk of night driving than the average driver, having seen many accidents occur under the cloak of darkness. In fact, according to a recent Popular Mechanics article, fatalities on the road occur at a rate three times greater at night than during the day. This is incredible considering that, although only a quarter of all driving is done at night, more than half of driving deaths occur then.
In an effort to keep you safe on the night roads in California, here are seven driving tips for cruising after dark:
- Aim your headlights. Even in brand new cars, headlights are sometimes uneven or pointed lower than necessary. If you choose to aim them yourself, use the owner’s manual, be patient, and make a few tries before you have them just where you want them. Make sure they aren’t blinding oncoming traffic, as well.
- Dim your instrument panel and dashboard lights. If you’re driving with the dash light on max, you could be hurting your forward vision. Most cars come with a dashboard dimmer switch.
- Don’t wear the wrong glasses. Don’t believe the ads proclaiming that yellow-tint sunglasses help you see better at night. In reality, they cut down on the amount of light you see. If you require glasses, prescription glasses that have an anti-reflective coating.
- Become a retina spotter. On dark country roads, animals are everywhere. You can often see the reflection of your headlights in an animal’s eyes long before you see the animal itself. Paris of tiny bright spots in the distance are a clear warning that an animal is ahead.
- Don’t stare at oncoming lights. Turn your gaze away from other lights on the road, and don’t look at oncoming high beams. Even though you may sometimes find yourself trying to determine if that oncoming car’s brights are on, look away.
- Give your windshield a wipe with newspaper. Windshields that seem clean during the day may show streaks that can cause glare at night. A trick is to polish glass with newspaper to remove dirt and grime from the glass.
If you are ever in the unfortunate situation of being injured in a auto accident at night, contact an experienced California auto accident attorney for help right away.