Auto Accidents

Driving Tips for Your Safety

It is important that you know that between 12 midnight and 6 a.m. is the riskiest time for auto accidents and car crashes on our roadways. This occurs despite the fact that there are fewer drivers on the roads. Yet there are more auto accidents than any other time of the day. We have all been faced with holiday and/or work related travel where we have to drive through the night to get somewhere.  If you are ever faced with this there are some important considerations and tips to keep in mind.

Safe driving during the night time hours requires preparation, alertness, and a heavy dose of common sense.  Hopefully you never suffer an auto accident, if you ever do - call our Law Firm we can help. The following are a few common-sense tips:

Look around. Keep your eyes moving from side to side, rather than focusing only on the centerline and the road ahead, to help your eyes stay adjusted to the dark and avoid falling victim to "highway hypnosis," a state in which reaction time is greatly impaired.

Keep your headlights and windshield clean. Being able to see other cars and be seen by other drivers helps a lot! If it's bug season, stop and wipe them off at each break.

Don't overdrive your headlights. Especially when driving on smaller roads without reflector strips, follow a four-second rule. Take note of where the far reach of your low beams are, then count four seconds. If you pass that original place in less than four seconds, then you are going too fast. Two to three seconds may be an acceptable range for major highways with reflector strips. Remember that posted speed limits are for driving in daylight with dry road conditions.

Make sure your headlights are properly aimed. Check with your car's service manual or a professional for the proper procedure. Also make sure all other lights work.

Use high beams wisely. The use of high-beam headlights when there isn't oncoming traffic can extend the time that you have to react to hazards. Never use your high beams because the high beams of the oncoming car stay on. This will only increase the chances of a head-on crash.

Don't look at oncoming headlights. Focus on the edges of oncoming traffic and bright objects, as staring directly into headlights can blind you for up to five seconds until your eyes adjust.

Always carry flares or reflectors for a breakdown. Keep them in a place where they can be easily accessed in an emergency.

If you're tired, get off the road and sleep. If you feel sleepy, caffeine can never be a substitute for sleep, nor is loud music or rolling down the windows. Pull over and rest, and stop every two hours for a break out of the car even if you're not feeling sleepy. Don't set out on a trip tired. Change your schedule and get some rest first.
Wear sunglasses during the day. Wearing sunglasses during bright days helps keep your eyes more sensitive for driving in the dark.