Alabama Traffic Crashes: Darkness and Daylight Savings Time

With the recent end of Daylight Saving Time, we gained an extra hour of sleep, at the expense of an increased risk for car accidents. The time changed on the 4th of November at 2:00 a.m. when clocks rolled back to 1:00 am.

But with earlier nights, more drivers are forced to drive in low-light conditions — conditions that make is tougher to see and avoid hazards. According to recent studies, the number of car accidents typically increase during that first Monday after Daylight Saving Time. Drivers beware!”The Monday after the switchover we see more crashes than the Monday before or the Monday thereafter,” said John Townsend of AAA.

Our Montgomery car accident lawyers understand that 90 percent of our decisions made while driving are made based solely on what we see. Although there’s about 60 percent less travel during the evening hours, about 40 percent of all car accidents occur during this time.

Why is nighttime driving so dangerous?

-You can’t see as well. Visibility is greatly hindered at night. We become completely dependent on artificial sources of light to help us to move along. Unfortunately, our peripheral vision is not as good during this time of day either. The darkness also makes it tougher for us to see as much of the roadway, more difficult to gauge distances and tougher to detect movement.

-We’re more likely to be tired. When you’re tired, your concentration diminishes and your reaction time is delayed. Our internal clocks know when it’s time to sleep, and for most of us that time is when it’s dark out.

-Drunk drivers come out at night. According to recent studies, drunk driving accidents are most likely to occur during the evening hours. It’s important to drive defensively during the evening hours to stay out of the way of these irresponsible drivers.

So how can I reduce my accident risks when driving at night?

-Limit your speed limit.

-Allow greater following distances from the vehicle in front of you.

-Avoid driving too much at night. Schedule longer drives for the daytime.

-Never drive for too long during the evening hours. Allow for plenty of breaks, snacks and stretching time. If you get too tired — stop and rest! Never try to push through sleepiness behind the wheel.

-Try to stay on roads that are well-lit.

-If vehicles behind you are following too closely or if glare from their headlights is bothering you, pull over and allow them to pass you.

-Avoid driving during inclement weather conditions.

-Make sure your headlights are always on.

-Make sure your car is prepared, too! Clean the windows, the mirrors and your headlights to help increase visibility.

And most importantly, you need to pay more attention when driving at night. Many times, drivers don’t “see” the dangers on the roadway so they drive as if they’re not there. The truth of the matter is that the dangers are present and we need to drive accordingly. Good luck and be safe and cautious out there!

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact the Montgomery injury lawyers at Allred & Allred P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 334.396.9200.

More Blog Entries:

Alabama Traffic Accidents: Parents Behaving Badly, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, October 2, 2012

Drivers Behaving Badly in Alabama, Even With Stricter Laws, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, September 18, 2012

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