On Sunday, and on the first Sunday of every November, we change our clocks back an hour for the end of Daylight Savings Time. This change happens at 2:00 a.m.
While we get an hour of extra sleeping time, we also get heightened risks for car accidents. With the change, we’re going to be spending more time behind the wheel in the dark and that can be dangerous. We’re more likely to get into a car accident during the dark hours than during any other time of the day.
Our Boca Raton accident lawyers understand that it can take our body close to 2 weeks to get used to the time change, but some of us will never get used to driving in the dark.
When it’s dark outside, our bodies are not only programmed to want to sleep, but we have a tougher time seeing. Many times, drivers fail to recognize dangers when it’s dark out. When we can’t see the dangers, it doesn’t mean that they’re not there. According to recent studies, observing Daylight Savings Time year-round would annually prevent about 195 deaths of motor vehicle occupants and about 171 pedestrian deaths. Still, we’re forced to deal with it and we need to know how to deal with it safely.
“There’s always a psychological impact of it getting dark so early — feeling that the days are shorter, and that winter is coming,” said Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., CEO of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation.
When driving at night, there are specific steps that you should take to help to reduce your risks of a car accident. Please read and review the tips below to help you stay safe in the dark.
Nighttime Driving Tips:
-Always use your headlights. From dusk until dawn, your headlights should be on. This not only helps you to see your surroundings, but it helps others to see you.
-Remember that your low-beam headlights are only effective when you’re traveling at speeds up to 25 miles per hour. When driving faster, you need to be extra careful since you’re less likely to see roadways dangers.
-High-beam headlights can help you to see objects up to a distance of 450 feet and are most effective when you’re traveling at speeds faster than 25 miles per hour.
-Avoid using your high-beam headlights when you are within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle. You don’t want to hinder their vision even more, too.
-Be careful when driving in an out of light. When you leave an area that is well lit, make sure that you allow your eyes some time to adjust.
-Avoid looking directly into the headlights of oncoming vehicles.
-Be cautious of drunk drivers. They’re more likely to be out during the evening hours.
-Be sure to keep your windshield and your mirrors clean to help you to maximize visibility.
-If you start to get sleepy, pull over and stop or let someone else drive. Staying behind the wheel when you want to snooze is a good way to increase your risks for a car accident.