night time driving

How To Stay Safe When Driving a Car at Night

Biloxi area roads can be dangerous and there is no foolproof way of avoiding a nighttime accident. This is especially true when you are driving around one of the many casinos in the area. Fortunately, there are things you can do to lower the risk, even before you get behind the wheel. You should consult with an experienced car accident attorney in Mississippi who can help you recover your rightful financial compensation if you were injured in a car crash.

The risk of being involved in a fatal car accident is three times higher at night as per a report by the National Safety Council. There are various factors that make driving at nighttime dangerous in Mississippi, but you can take steps to mitigate your risk.

Stay Alert to Drunk Driving Behavior

Drunk drivers driving recklessly are among the biggest dangers during nighttime driving. Many drivers choose not to take a rideshare or taxi home after a night spent in one of the casinos, restaurants, or pubs because they believe they are not that drunk.

It can be difficult to prepare for intoxicated drivers on the road. However, there are a few things you can do that help you avoid a crash:

  • Dial 911 if you come across a driver swerving in front of you. Make a note of their license plate number.
  • Exercise caution when you suspect another driver on the road might be driving under the influence. Don’t try to slow down that driver or make gestures or maneuvers.
  • Look out for any drivers that have not turned on their headlights.
  • Honk your horn and steer clear of any vehicle that is taking up two lanes on the interstate.
  • Watch for a driver that is making unnecessarily wide turns or indulging in erratic braking.

Be Mindful of Low Visibility in the Dark

The most obvious danger of driving at night is reduced visibility. It gets difficult to see everything around you. This increases the odds of getting into an accident.

Even with high-beam headlights, it can be difficult to see further than 500 meters in front of you. Low visibility reduces reaction times, especially if you are traveling at high speed.

These are a few steps you can take to ensure the best visibility possible:

  • Clean the headlights.
  • Dim dashboard lights.
  • Reduce your speed to improve reaction times.
  • Clean the windshield regularly to remove streaks that can prevent you from seeing things clearly.
  • Inspect your headlights to ensure they are aimed correctly.

You should consider turning on your headlamps when it starts to get dark outside. This is even if you notice that other drivers don’t have their headlights on.

Take Precautions if You Have Poor Night Vision

Nighttime driving is often more difficult for people that are over the age of 50. This is because older people have trouble seeing properly at night.

People with degenerative eye disease and cataracts may find nighttime driving even more difficult. This is one of the reasons why older drivers have a harder time driving at night as compared to younger drivers.

Several recommendations have been made by the American Optometric Association for older drivers to reduce the risk of an accident:

  • Slow down.
  • Drive during the daytime wherever possible.
  • Update your eyeglass prescriptions after regular vision exams.
  • Speak to your physician about any possible side effects from prescription drugs.
  • Avoid distractions, like talking to passengers or on the phone.
  • Do not drive when you experience fatigue, drowsiness, or sickness.

People working multiple shifts usually end up driving with some level of fatigue. People on road trips may also be fatigued behind the wheel.

It’s critical to note that tired drivers are almost as dangerous as drunk drivers. This is because awareness, depth perception, and reaction time gets significantly reduced.

You can consider carpooling with other people that are not fatigued when driving at night. Make sure you stop every two hours and allow someone else that is not tired to take over. You can also pull over to a safe truck stop or 24-hour store and take a short nap if required.

Be respectful towards your natural circadian rhythm and avoid driving when you would normally be in bed.

Pay More Attention during Rush Hour Traffic

It gets dark early when daylight savings time ends. There may be peak traffic on the roads making it dangerous to travel. You should reduce your speed during these hours.

This is especially important if there is snow, sleet, rain, and ice on the streets. Don’t forget to memorize your route and avoid multitasking when driving. Make sure you don’t change lanes abruptly.

It’s easy to switch to autopilot and not pay as much attention to the roads as you should. Try and avoid doing this. You need to remain alert since an increase in traffic means more opportunities for an accident to occur.

Our Car Accident Attorneys Will Fight to Maximize Your Damages in the Shortest Possible Time

If you or a loved one was injured in a nighttime car accident caused by negligence, get in touch with a reliable car accident attorney at the Gardner Law Firm to determine your legal options.

Our attorneys will provide you with strong legal advice, prepare a winning legal strategy, and represent you aggressively against the defendants and their insurance companies. To schedule your free and confidential consultation with us today, call 228-436-6555 or write to us online.