Five Nighttime Driving Safety Tips from a DC Auto Accident Lawyer
DC Auto Accident Lawyer Weighs In
Personal injury lawyers deal with many cases involving nighttime car accidents, especially throughout the Virginia, Maryland, and DC area, where an abundance of highways and traffic can add to the dangers. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports an alarming statistic on nighttime driving: “approximately 8 percent of drivers during weekend nighttime hours were found to have alcohol in their system, and just over 1 percent were found with 0.08 percent or higher breath alcohol content – the legal limit in every state.” Although this number is down from a previous study in 2007, it is still of great concern.
Nighttime driving presents other risks, as well. Obviously visual signs are greatly diminished and drivers must rely on headlights, streetlights, and a limited field of vision. In addition, wildlife such as deer, possum, and raccoons are more abundant during evening hours, and pedestrians and cyclists become far more difficult to see. With all these risks, it’s no surprise that half of all traffic related deaths occur at night.
Follow these nighttime driving safety guidelines:
- Keep your headlights clean and aimed correctly. A surprising amount of road grime can build up on headlights. Wipe them down regularly with a wet rag to ensure maximum brightness. Also, pull that handy manual out of the glovebox and learn how to aim your headlights. Spend a little time adjusting them so they are even and effective – just remember not to adjust them too high as you don’t want to blind oncoming drivers!
- Don’t be fooled by ads for tinted glasses that supposedly help you see better at night. In truth, these glasses just increase contrast, but actually diminish the amount of light you can see. The better choice is to visit your eye doctor and purchase a pair of glasses with anti-reflective coating.
- Adjust your mirrors – flip your rearview mirror to the dim or night position. Aim side mirrors slightly down, so that headlights aren’t reflected in your vision.
- Never look into oncoming lights. Instead scan the roadway in front of you. Look down the road and, especially on rural roads, be sure to notice any small bright dots out ahead as they may be the eyes of wildlife.
- Stay alert! Especially during long drives, stop periodically to stretch your legs and get a drink or a snack. If you are tired, get some rest before you continue on your journey.
Contact a DC Auto Accident Lawyer
Nighttime driving is hazardous, but proper precautions will help keep you safe from dusk till dawn. At Cohen & Cohen, we know that many traffic accidents are preventable. We urge you to exercise caution while driving at any time. And if an accident does happen, call the attorneys you can count on – call Cohen & Cohen, P.C.