Winter is coming. This Sunday, we’ll set our clocks back an hour. The end of daylight savings time means it will be getting dark earlier, and many of us will be driving home from work in the dark.
Driving after dark isn’t the same as driving during daylight. Our eyes simply don’t function as well in the dark. Color vision and depth perception are limited at night and our eyes can’t see contrast. Our peripheral vision is also limited. Perhaps this is why about seventy-five percent of fatal Wisconsin car accidents occur at night.
To improve your night driving and avoid becoming a Wisconsin accident victim, our Wausau accident injury attorneys offer these eleven tips:
1. Make sure that all your external lights are in working order. Check your high beams, low beams, fog lights, turn signals, and flashers. When you go for a tune-up, ask your mechanic to check that your headlights are properly aligned. This will help you to see better.
2. Make sure your headlights and windshields are clean. Dirty headlights make it difficult to see and be seen. Dirt, grime and snow can reduce the efficiency of your lights by as much as 90 percent, and dirty windshields increase glare.
3. Use your headlights properly. Turn on your headlights at least one hour before sunset and keep them on until at least one hour after sunrise.
4. Use your lights with consideration. Remember, high beams can blind other drivers. Switch to low beams when another vehicle approaches. If another driver forgets, focus on staying safe and avoid the temptation to flash your own high beams. This only increases the risk of a Wausau car accident. When it is foggy, use your low beams or fog lights as fog increases glare.
5. Avoid glare. To avoid being blinded by on-coming head lights, keep your eyes on the white line on the right side of the road. You can use your sun visor to reduce glare from streetlights.
6. Use your eyes. Don’t keep your eyes on the side of the road. Scan for oncoming vehicles near hilltops, curves, and intersections, and, if you are driving away from the city, keep an eye out for deer.
7. Use your mirrors. A properly aligned mirror will reduce blind spots and cut glare from vehicles behind you. To cut glare from cars that are following you, adjust your day/night rearview mirror into the “night” position.
8. Keep your car’s interior lights off. If your lights are on, your pupils will contract so it will be harder to see what’s going on outside. Avoid using interior overhead lights, and, if you can, dim the lights on your console.
9. Increase your following distance. Increasing your following distance by a car length or a few seconds will give you extra time to respond to emergencies and unexpected events. This is important because you can’t see as far in the dark.
10. Slow down. Speeding is more dangerous in the dark. Your eyes take longer to react, so you need more time and distance to stop. It takes longer to stop a speeding car.
11. Avoid driving when tired. If you are very tired and must drive, take breaks and get some fresh air. If you need to, stop for coffee or even a nap.
The Wausau car accident attorneys at Hupy and Abraham offer information and advice about accident prevention and Wisconsin injury claims. To learn more, request a free copy of The Ultimate Guide For Automobile Accident Victims. To discuss a Wisconsin car accident claim, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.