This year, Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 3.  Consequentially, the days will become shorter and the roads will become more dangerous. The attorneys at Azrael Franz shed light on the hazards of driving at night.

Nighttime is one of the most dangerous time to be on the road.  In fact, fatal accidents occur three times more at night than they do during the day, despite the typical decrease in traffic during these hours. There are quick and simple methods you can practice to ensure that you and fellow drivers stay safe at night.

By taking these extra precautions, you can practice safe driving as the nights grow longer and the sun disappears faster. For more information on safe driving, contact the personal injury and auto crash attorneys at Azrael Franz.

Adjust Your Driving (and your eyes!)

The lack of light that comes with the end of Daylight Savings Time affects depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision. For instance, sudden high beams from an oncoming vehicle can temporarily blind a driver. There are ways you can combat darkness to ensure you remain safe and safeguard others as well:

  • Use your headlights appropriately and be sure that they are clean;
  • Do not look directly into oncoming lights;
  • If you have glasses, consider anti-reflective lenses;
  • Eliminate streaks by cleaning your windshield;
  • Slow down to compensate for limited visibility;
  • Dim your dashboard light;
  • Reduce your speed;
  • If you begin taking new medication, discuss side effects with your doctor (including drowsiness and blurred vision);
  • Minimize distractions such as cell phones or talking passengers; and
  • Schedule annual vision exams to keep up with your eye health.

Get Enough Sleep

Most adults need a total of 7-9 hours of sleep. Individuals who have been up for 24 hours or more should avoid driving overall. Guidelines to follow for long trips include having regular stops for taking short naps and stopping every 100 miles (or every 2 hours) for a break.

Avoid Rush Hour When Possible

Rush hour is a dangerous time to drive, especially after dark. Weekdays between 4 PM and 7 PM can be a hazardous time to drive, with the common impatient drivers eager to get home, crowded roads and lack of sunlight. Some tips offered by the National Safety Council include:

  • Stay in your lane and be aware that drivers may switch lanes quickly;
  • Do not go on autopilot—stay alert even when the route is familiar;
  • Do not touch your phone, eat food, drink beverages or do anything else distracting while behind the wheel; and
  • Slow down.

Stay Alert for Impaired Drivers

Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Impaired drivers are most frequently on the road at night, particularly between the hours of midnight and 3 AM, especially on the weekends.  It is especially important to pay attention to your surroundings while driving at night and remain on the lookout for any reckless behavior.