It’s that time of year again – when the sun goes down early, and we experience peak darkness. What does this mean for drivers in West Virginia and the tri-state area? More nighttime driving.
Drivers should be prepared for the risk, especially when navigating long, winding rural roads.
Poor visibility, a common problem
One risk many drivers face this time of year is limited visibility, as discussed by the National Safety Council (NSC). This can be problematic when we experience rain, fog, and snow, especially on roadways that are not equipped with street lights.
However, on any given night, the average range of visibility is 250 with normal use of headlights. With high beams, the average range of visibility is 500 feet.
Driver visibility can also be obstructed by the lights of other vehicles. This is particularly dangerous when motorists engage in tailgating or fail to turn off their high-beams around other drivers.
When visibility is limited, drivers may not be able to see pedestrians, bicyclists, animals or debris in the roadway. Additionally, reaction time is limited, making it more likely for a crash to occur.
Risk of drowsy driving
Auto accidents caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel are more likely to happen at night. On average, they tend to occur between midnight and 6 a.m., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
However, when the sun goes down by early evening, the lack of light tricks your body’s natural clock into releasing a sleep hormone called melatonin.
Accidents involving drowsy drivers can be the most dangerous since they tend to happen at full speed. It can also be difficult to prove that a driver fell asleep at the wheel, especially if there are no tire marks in the road or other signs.
Injured in a crash? We can help
Auto accidents that occur at night are almost always caused by someone else’s negligence. As a result, you could be faced with a mountain of medical bills, while you’re unable to work and make ends meet.
That’s why you need an attorney on your side who knows how to handle complicated claims like yours. Recht Law Offices are dedicated to helping injured motorists in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Contact us today to learn more.