Fall is here and as we come closer to the end of daylight saving time, the days are getting increasingly shorter. Shorter days will have a profound effect on roadway safety in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, especially on poorly-lit rural roads. This can be a contributing factor in nighttime car accidents.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), this risk of being involved in a crash at night increases during this time of year, especially as drivers begin to adjust to the time change and looming fall and winter driving conditions. Below are the three leading crash risks drivers face this time of year, according to the NSC.
Reduced visibility and glare
Once it becomes dark outside, drivers experience a significant reduction in their range of visibility. Usually, drivers can only see about 250 ft. ahead of them at night and 500 ft. with high-beams turned on. When drivers don't properly maintain or clean their headlights, visibility may be reduced even more.
Nighttime driving affects older drivers the most. Those who suffer from degenerative eye conditions and cataracts are especially at risk. For example, drivers 50 years of age or older need twice as much light to see at night as drivers 30 years of age or younger.
Another common visibility issue at night is glare from other drivers' headlights. For some drivers, this can be blinding on roadways that lack adequate street lighting.
It's absolutely critical that drivers give themselves plenty of time to reach their destinations and maintain a safe and reasonable speed.
Drowsy driving likely to increase after daylight savings
The time shifts that occur during the beginning and end of daylight savings can disturb the sleeping patterns of many drivers. Some drivers are able to plan ahead and adjust to the change, but not all do so. Moreover, the longer hours of darkness will increase the possibility of drowsy driving. That's because of the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, which is often induced by lack of light.
About 800 deaths each year across the U.S. are caused by drowsy driving. Many tired drivers think they can safely continue to drive, despite the warning signs. That's why it's important that drivers recognize these signs of drowsy driver and be ready to get off the road as soon as possible:
- Yawning or blinking more than usual
- Trouble remembering last few miles driven
- Trouble concentrating on the road
- Eyelids feeling heavy
- Feeling of restlessness or irritability
- Difficulty staying within the lines in the road
Drunk driving to increase during the holidays
People generally drink more at night or in the evening after getting out of work. With Thanksgiving and the December holidays coming up, there will likely be more drunk drivers on the road. Drunk driving causes about 10,000 traffic fatalities each year across the U.S.
When combined with limited visibility and the risk of drowsy driving, even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous.
Car accident attorneys serving West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania
Speak to the experienced car accident attorneys at Recht Law Offices if you were injured in a nighttime crash. Our legal team knows how serious nighttime crashes can be and the impact they can have on crash victims and their families.
Our law firm has been serving crash victims in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania for more than half a century. We know how to investigate crashes like yours and gather the facts needed to support your claim. We also know how to negotiate with insurance companies so you can recover every dollar you're entitled to in compensation. Schedule your free and confidential case evaluation today. Fill out our online contact form and we'll get back to you promptly.